Community Radio: Readiness in Bangladesh - Dissemination of Baseline Study Findings for a Way Forward
Emphasizing on Advantages of Digital Bangladesh for the grassroots by fulfilling “A charter for Change”, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and Community Radio Academy jointly organized a meeting and presented research works on “Community Radio: Readiness in Bangladesh; Dissemination of Baseline Study Findings for a Way Forward” in collaboration with Bangladesh Institute of Social Research (BISR), Center for e-parliament Research and Media Watch, supported by Free Voice in IDB Meeting Room, Agargaon, Dhaka on 19 December, 2009.
The meeting was presided by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam, Chairperson of board of trust of BNNRC and Executive Director of Dwip Unnayan Songstha (DUS). The meeting was moderated by Dr. Akram Hossain Chowdhury- Member of the Parliament, Chairperson of Center of e-parliament Research and member of parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Food and Disaster Management of Bangladesh.
Mr. Obaidul Quader – Member of the Parliament (MP) and president of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Information was the chief guest in the meeting. The guest of honor, Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser, Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Dr. Mizanur Rahman Shelly- Chairman of Center for Development Research, Bangladesh(CDRB) and Chairman, Media Commission, Bangladesh, Syed Marghub Morshed- former Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Mr. AKM Shamim Chowdhury- Principal Information Officer and Director General of Bangladesh Press Institute(PIB), Mr. Aminul Islam- Joint Secretary- Broadcasting, Ministry of Information were present at the meeting.
The key Discussant, Mr. Shahab Anam Khan- Assistant Professor of Jahangirnagar University was also present at the meeting. Dr. Khorshed Alam, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Institute for Social Research (BISR), presented the ‘research findings’ in brief.
AHM Bazlur Rahman-S21BR, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), delivered the welcome speech in the meeting. He also presented the latest updates of Community Radio Installation in Bangladesh. He said that the Ministry of Information had already adopted the Community Radio Installation, Broadcasting and Operation policy 2008 and had established three committee i.e. a. National Regulatory Committee b. Technical Sub-committee and c. Central Monitoring Committee as per the policy.
BNNRC has been running a fulltime national help desk from the adoption of the policy for Community Radio. Side by side of its facilitation work BNNRC has published a handbook on Community Radio. A Community Radio Academy has been established for performing Community Radio procedures effectively and building capacity. This Community Radio Academy has been training Community Radio stakeholders perfectly. 6/7 training courses and workshops has already been conducted for Community Radio operation. The National Mass Media Institute (NIMCO) under the Ministry of Information has conducted a month long training course for seven (7) Community Radio stakeholders for the first time in coordination of BNNRC. According to the Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy 2008, there exists tremendous Community Radio operational capacity in Bangladesh. He offered thanks to the Ministry of Information for this.
Dr. Khorshed Alam- Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Institute for Social Research (BISR) presented the research paper in brief according to the research “Community Radio: Readiness in Bangladesh; Dissemination of Baseline Study Findings for a Way Forward”. The Chief Discussant, Mr. Shahab Anam Khan- Assistant Professor, Department of International Relation, Jahangirnagar University, said that the government and the NGOs have to come forward with responsibility for Community Radio operation and capacity building.
Mr. Aminul Islam, Joint secretary of Ministry of Information, said that though Community Radio is the new concept in Bangladesh, the ministries are working cordially for its opening up which is in final stage now.
AKM Shamim Chowdhury, Principal Information Officer and Director General of Bangladesh Press Institute, said that the community people shall be able to build their capacity when Community Radio would be established in the community, he emphasized.
The guest of honor Mr. Syed Margub Morshed, former Chairman of BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission), said that Community Radio is a crying need for the marginalized people and some pilot basis stations are severely needed to establish as soon as possible for its output. We have to step forward for the nation because of its utilities for the marginalized community. The community radio plays a massive role for empowering local people.
The guest of honor Dr. Mizanur Rahman Shelly, Chairman of CDRB, said that when people get developed concerning creed and cast, culture, education etc, sustainable development in the society would be ensured. There is no alternative of Community Radio for the rural and marginalized people like the people of marshy lands (Haor, Baor, bill etc.), and coastal islands.
The guest of honor, Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser- Secretary, Ministry of Information, said that the Ministry is working with importance for Community Radio. It possesses philosophical as well as fundamental utilities. The Ministry is cordially committed to fulfill ‘A Charter for Change’.
Mr. Obaidul Quader, Member of the Parliament and President of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Information, said that the government is on the way to fulfill its commitment noted in the election manifesto by starting Community Radio immediately. As per people’s need, we have to establish Community Radio though in a small periphery. People want to see the reflection of Community Radio. He expressed hope that necessary initiatives would be taken to achieve the success of Community Radio. Why isn’t it possible in Bangladesh to establish community radio if Nepal can make development relating to information service at grass root level through Community Radio, he added.
Ms. Shamima Akhtar- Executive Director of ASWO, Mr. Mirza S.I. Khaled- Director of Sangkalpa Trust and Member of the Board of Trust of BNNRC, Mr. Ekramul Kabir- Chief Executive of Samdhan and Mr. Delwar Hossain from Bangladesh Scouts and many other people were also present in the meeting and presented their speeches. The participants were there: Members of Parliament (MPs), Governmental High Officials, Intellectuals, Teachers, Students, Social Researchers, Writers, Journalists, Development Workers and Community Radio Initiators and so forth.
Eventually, Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam, Chairperson, Board of Trust of BNNRC and Executive Director of Dwip Unnayan Songstha offered thanks over the participants for the discussion at the end of the meeting.
AHM. Bazlur Rahman-S21BR
Chief Executive Officer
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication(BNNRC)
Member, Strategy Council
UN-Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID)
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