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From India to Indonesia: Positive News in the World of Journalism

June 29, 2009

In the never ending fight for freedom of the press, the small successes that occur every day across the globe can be easy to overlook. Today, while keeping in mind the struggles everywhere from Iran and Iraq to China and North Korea, we decided to highlight those instances where good journalism is rewarded and steps are being taken to improve the freedom of the press.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, radio station KBR68H embraces discussion of tough topics relating to
religious tolerance, human rights, and the environment. Celebrating its 10th year of broadcasting, the station has just been awarded the International Development Prize from the The King Baudouin Foundation for “contribution to the strengthening of democracy, tolerance and citizen participation” according to Media Helping Media.

The station’s founder and managing director accepted the award from King of Belgium at a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Brussels. “In these countries, where poverty and lack of education hamper development, there is a need for the media to also act as a tool for public education, as well as providing a platform for civic participation in public life,” he said.

While broadcasting to 650 radio stations across 10 countries in Asia, KBR68H founded the Indonesian Association for Media Development to train more qualified media professionals. The company is also working to further expand their coverage to more remote areas of Indonesia that are lacking in information and to get the local people there involved in the process.

In New Delhi, India, the launch of a new international media institute has been announced. The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is teeming with local Indian journalists to launch the non-profit educational center. The top editors of India will work with journalists to encourage quality reporting of print, broadcast, and interactive media stories.

The program comes at a time when both the media and overall economy are growing exponentially. “More than ever, we need trained, ethical journalists to meet the rigorous standards that the public expects of an exalted profession and a growing industry,” says Tarun Basu, chief editor of the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

According to IFCJ, the school will encourage coverage of economic and social issues that are often ignored by the mass media.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.