Current Projects

Project Name

Youth Engagement on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) through Social Media

Project Duration

March 2018-November 2018

Support/Fund

USAID/Obirodh – Road to Tolerance Program

Project Location

Dhaka and Rajshahi

Project Concept

In Bangladesh, there are numerous online communities across social media sites which are actively creating, disseminating and consuming different information about pressing social issues. Most of the online communities belong to different Facebook pages. It is evident that these pages are contributing to society and in many cases mobilizing social action such as in the case of blood donation, freeing clogged canals, emergency response, medical help and so on. Online activists create social content on a wide range of issues; however, there is no content available across social media pages on PVE. Social media activists do not have adequate knowledge, skills and motivation to write on PVE issues. There is almost no initiative to address these gaps and help social media activists to work on messages that promote peace and tolerance.

The project will work with practicing and potential citizen journalists of Dhaka and Rajshahi districts. Citizen journalists who are already engaged in social media and own or administer existing Facebook pages or YouTube channels that promote social issues will be the primary target of the project. The activity will build the capacity of citizen journalists with specific journalistic techniques that focus on PVE issues that will contribute to promote positive contents on social channels. Journalistic skills and technical expertise will enable the citizen journalists to systematically create and disseminate contents that will promote tolerance, inclusion, peace equity and democratic values.

Project Name

Journalism for Preventing Violent Extremism (JPVE)

Project Duration

February 2018-November 2018

Support/Fund

USAID/Obirodh – Road to Tolerance Program

Project Location

Dhaka and Rajshahi

Project Concept

Reporting in Bangladesh tends to lack journalistic rigor. Investigative reporting, or reporting that goes beyond the surface, is extremely limited that at times can lead to misrepresentation and increase tensions when such information is not sufficiently analyzed. SoMaSHTe will work with 50 journalists to increase their capacity for issue based reporting. These journalists will be selected from different print and electronic media outlets in Dhaka and Rajshahi. Trained journalists will be provided support to write preventing violent extremism/violent extremis (PVE/VE) issue based reports for respective media outlets, followed by regular mentorship by SoMaSHTe. A newsletter will be published with the best reports and distributed to respected media houses. The top ten reports will be selected to receive recognition. The selection will be made by a jury board comprising eminent media personnel and PVE experts. This effort will ultimately help to improve the quantity and quality of PVE/VE reporting, contribute to increased understanding and awareness of this issue.

Project Name

Co-faciltitation for Information Channels Development through Media Initiatives

Project Duration

March 2014-February 2015

Support/Fund

Katalyst

Project Location

Dhaka and other districts if needed

Project Concept

Within the dynamic flow of agricultural information system, TV contents on agriculture are significant sources of information for the farmers. However, TV programs are not able to provide a useful information basket to the farmers mainly due to capacity and motivational constraints. At the other end, universities and other institutes offering courses on journalism currently do not have agricultural journalism course for which media industry are not having technically ready human resource for quality agriculture news coverage. The interventions will create broader opportunities for private TV channels’ agricultural programs so that they can effectively provide information demanded by the farmers in a sustained way. The intervention will help to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural news and programs coverage enhancing farmers access to practical information using which they can increase agricultural productivity. The intervention will also attempt to include agriculture journalism courses in a university department focusing on that the course will run on a continuing and sustainable basis, providing  students with the knowledge necessary to cover the agricultural industry in an effective manner.

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Project Name

Conducting Journalists Training on Human Rights Journalism

Project Duration

March 2014-June 2014

Support/Fund

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh

Project Location

Dhaka

Objective

  • To strengthen the knowledge of journalists on access to justice/human rights issues in order to improve the quality and quantity of access to justice and human rights reporting;
  • To promote advocacy and awareness raising by the media on access to justice/human rights issues and fostering the right to freedom of expression;
  • To enable journalists to identify human rights issues to report and to engage in investigative journalism;
  • To strengthen knowledge and understanding of the media on ethical reporting;
  • To ensure linkage between the media and human rights organizations in Bangladesh.

Outputs

  • Assess needs and develop training course including module for journalists on human rights issues;
  • Provide training to 80  journalists on human rights approach to journalism;
  • Conduct thematic sessions/workshops for journalists on women rights, child rights and rights of minorities.

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Project Name

Media Advocacy to Contribute to Pro Poor Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Bangladesh

Project Duration

January 2012-March 2014

Support/Fund

OXFAM Bangladesh with co-financing of the European Union

Project Location

20 selected districts and 4 selected divisions in Bangladesh.

General Objective

To increase the capacity of the national and local media to engage in national decision-making processes related to climate change and to influence policies

Specific Objective

  • To increase the capacity of the local and national media in tracking climate finance and on mitigation/low carbon development in Bangladesh
  • To raise the voice and promote participation of Non State Actors in ensuring transparency and accountability in utilization of climate fund in line with national climate adaptation plan
  • To establish at least an informal network of journalists working on climate change and establish a linkage between them and the CSRL members working in respective districts

Expected Output

  • Increased capacity of at least 30 media professionals in each district under the project on tracking climate finance in Bangladesh
  • Increased capacity of at least 25 media professionals in each workshop at national and divisional level on mitigation/low carbon development
  • Non State Actors voice raised and participation promoted in ensuring transparency and accountability in utilization of climate fund in line with national climate adaptation plan
  • An informal network of journalists working on climate change has been formed and a linkage between them and the CSRL members working in respective districts has been established

Major Activities

  • Select  locations/districts and local newspapers
  • Develop workshop outline and materials
  • Organize sensitization workshop for media on climate financing at district level
  • Organize sensitization workshop for media on mitigation and low carbon development at division level
  • Establishing linkages between journalists and the local CSRL members and Oxfam partners
  • Documentation of published reports and action of local newspapers

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Project Name
Analysis of Private TV Channels Broadcasting Agricultural Programs

Project duration
January-June 2013

Support/Fund
Katalyst

Objective
To analyze the private television channels broadcasting agricultural programs to identify and address underlying constraint for facilitating effective television programs targeting rural poor/farmers.

 Major Activities

  • To screen channels and prepare a list of those who are broadcasting agro content (programs and news). An activity plan needs to be prepared to interview relevant key personals for channels which are airing agro-programs.
  • To develop interview guideline/questionnaires for senior management, program head as well as production unit, marketing team and content supply bodies, together with Katalyst.
  • To interview and assess senior management’s business objective (if any) for agro programs together with Katalyst. If there are other motives/strategies that should be documented as well.
  • Interview the program heads and relevant program team members and understand the existing mechanism of conceptualizing, planning, producing agro programs together with Katalyst. These interactive sessions would probe for constraints (if any) in capacity, content availability, linkage etc.
  • To analyze needs to identify training need gaps and probe to understand more regarding positioning strategies (farmer friendly timing, giving program trailers etc.) together with Katalyst.
  • To understand the production team’s perspective on new ideas, problem solution approach and scope of innovation needs to be considered when it comes to program such as these together with Katalyst.
  • To identify and map sources of content suppliers for each house together with Katalyst.
  • To document marketing strategies of such programs (if any) together with Katalyst.
  • To identify existing and potential sponsors’ interest for sponsoring agriculture news/program(s) together with Katalyst.
  • To share major findings of the report with the key industry personnel through a joint workshop for final review together with Katalyst.