The project is funded by UNDP
News Network with funding assistance from UNDP has launched a project — Capacity Development of Media People for Promoting Tolerant and Inclusive Society. The overall objective of the initiative is to promote Diversity for Peace in Bangladesh society. The project has undertaken several initiatives with a view to improving the professional ability of the media people particularly, journalists and potential young social media activists.
They will be given better understanding on the issues related to diversity and peace including impact of peaceful coexistence of all religious people and ethnic minorities and tolerance for mankind and prosperity. About 80 media people will benefited from the project. Their contribution in the media will make people aware about their rights for equality and live with dignity in an inclusive society.
Strengthening The Capacity Of Journalists To Promote Freedom Of Religion And Peace
Project period: 2019- 2020
Funded by: Canadian High Commission
The project has focused on news reporters who are working at remote rural districts and local media gatekeepers, including editors, executive editors, news editors, news-room editors of local newspapers and online news portals.
As part of the project activities, News Network sensitizes media professionals on the importance religious freedom and peace and improves their professional abilities.
With improved capacities, the media professionals will be able to publish quality news and feature items and raise awareness among the people for effective engagement of relevant stakeholders in countering intolerance and ensure peace in the society.
Prgramme For Promoting Digital And Physical Safety Of Journalists
Journalists across the world are facing pressure and threats while covering news on conflict sensitive issues. Journalists and media actors in Bangladesh are also not immune. They are facing threats and risks from hackers, criminal groups and religious extremists. Compounding this increasingly hostile operational environment is a sector influenced by corporate ownership and political allegiances, resulting in self-censorship at the individual journalist and editorial levels.
The attack on freedom of expression has escalated recently with introduction of digital security act which is being used indiscriminately to harass journalists and other media activists.
The rise of hacking risks, violence by extremist groups and heightened state surveillance on journalists and bloggers have created a sense of urgency for greater digital, physical, psychosocial and legal security among journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders.
To face the challenges News Network, with support from Internews, has launched a project in April, 2020 in five divisions in Bangladesh with a view to strengthening the digital safety and physical security for journalists and access to resources.
The project activities includes Training of Journalists’ Trainers (ToT) and field level training workshops for media people, working for local and national print and electronic media on digital and physical safety of journalists, aims to foster media independence in Bangladesh by strengthening investigative journalism capacity focusing on building skills in digital and physical security, reducing self-censorship, and addressing lack of media freedoms.
The programmes will take place in the capital city Dhaka and four other divisional headquarters of Chattogram, Sylhet, Khulna and Barisal. More than one hundred journalists will be benefited from the project as well as they will share their experience and learnings from the programme among their colleagues with multiple effects.
Programme for Supporting Human Rights Defenders Working for Women’s and Girls’ Rights in Bangladesh
However, the Government of Bangladesh has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations against Women and passed the Women Development Policy 2011 to ensure strong protection for women and girls’ rights. But this has not changed the reality in the field yet.
An unacceptable social attitude among a section of the society and officials towards women and girls is still there. Weak enforcement of women-friendly laws and regulations, slow but insufficient judicial protection, inadequate social protest and protection, poor family environment, poor and inadequate intervention from human rights defenders (HRDs) and weak voice of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are the major impediments in ensuring women’s and girls’ rights in Bangladesh.
News Networked has teamed up with the European Union in Bangladesh to address these issues and has taken up a comprehensive project.
The Project entitled, “Supporting Human Rights Defenders Working for Women’s and Girls’ Rights in Bangladesh” is a three-year project started in January 2018. The project funded by the European Union and implemented by the News Network in partnership with Udayankur Seba Sangstha (USS) in the rural areas of eight districts along the Indo-Bangla international border namely Satkhira, Jessore, Rajshahi, Niphamari, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram.
The overall objective of the project is to provide support to Women Human Rights Defenders and/or Human Rights Defenders (W/HRDs) working for women’s and girls’ rights in Bangladesh.
The project has been working to recognise and promote the role of WHRDs in the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to protect them addressing the challenges, risks and threats that they may face.
It also supports and protects WHRDs at risk due to their work for the promotion and protection of the full enjoyment of women’s and girls’ rights.
Media professionals of print, electronic and social media including potential young women journalists and rural media gatekeepers-editors, news editors and executive editors, rural journalists and creative women journalists are the targeted beneficiaries of the project.
Rural civil society organisations’ leaders, both male and female, and rural religious leaders who are working to promote women’s and girls’ rights are also its beneficiaries.