BBC Media Action
Apune Jacob Alfred, Researcher, BBC Media Action in South Sudan
For this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, our researcher Apune Jacob Alfred blogs about the bright, ambitious teenage girls he met in western South Sudan.
Country Director, Afghanistan
When a TV debate show was filmed at the tomb of one of Afghanistan’s founding fathers it was clear how much a sense of ‘place’ is interlinked with ‘identity’. Shirazuddin Siddiqi reflects on an especially memorable Open Jirga.
Not even a mosquito flapped its wings, as Afghans would say to describe a completely empty place, in and around one of the most sacred sites in southern Afghanistan.
Open Jirga, a TV debate show for people in Afghanistan, had chosen the space – between two of Afghanistan’s most important historic sites – as a filming location to discuss ‘national identity’ with an audience of Afghans representing 21 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.
The Khirqa-e Sharif (shrine of the cloak) is home to Prophet Mohammad’s cloak – which has only been taken out twice since it was put there for safekeeping in the 18th century. Next to the Khirqa lies the tomb of Ahmad Shah Abdali (later known as Ahmad Shah Durrani), founder of modern Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah was a young general in the army of the Persian Emperor, Nader Afshar. After the emperor was assassinated, he separated a large part of the empire and declared it an independent country, Afghanistan, in mid-18 century.
Rithy Lomorpich (Yuki)
Writer and Director, Love9
Yuki (middle) celebrates the launch of the second series of Love 9 with drama cast members.
Red carpet, flashing cameras and glamorously dressed people – no, it’s not the Oscars, but the launch of the second series of Love9, a hugely popular TV show addressing sexual and reproductive health issues for young Cambodians through discussion and drama. To welcome the new series, I joined four members of the Love9 cast at one of the biggest cinemas in Phnom Penh for its first screening.
A few months into the series and we’re as popular as ever. Aired on MyTV and CTN, the most popular TV channels in Cambodia, the programme reaches millions of people each week.
In the new series – which includes a 30 minute drama and a 15 minute discussion with presenters and sexual health experts – we follow the lives of characters as they navigate the highs and lows of their relationships and deal with common issues surrounding sexual health such as contraceptives, multiple sexual partners, sexual orientation and consent.
An explosive argument
In a recent episode focused on violence against...
Abdirahman, the actor who plays ‘Ali’, recording for the radio drama Maalmo Dhama Maanta (A Better Life than Today).
Hoda Hersi tells the story of Abaas, from Mogadishu whose life was transformed after listening to a radio drama storyline about migration.
“I used to be a gangster”, explains Abaas, a first year student at a university in Mogadishu and now the proud owner of a grocery store.
Abaas used to live a life of crime on the streets of Mogadishu. To escape the streets he thought only of how he could accumulate enough money to migrate. If successful, his perilous route would have taken him through the vast, dry deserts of Sudan and Libya, and seen him smuggled across dangerous seas to a new life in Europe.
While listening to Googjoog FM five months ago, he tuned in to BBC Media Action’s Maalmo Dhaama Maanta (A Better Life than Today) – a weekly radio drama addressing issues important to young Somalis – such as relationships, employment and migration.
The project is the first interactive drama for young Somalis, regularly inviting listeners to...
Phyo Wai Lin and Su Myat Mon
Media Trainer and Lead Producer, BBC Media Action, Myanmar
How a youth radio show and journalism training have been giving people a voice in the run-up to this month’s historic polls.
“In our state, the children in grade two [age 7] cannot even read Burmese. Why is that?"
On Saturday 12 September, an 18-year-old woman from Kachin in northern Myanmar asked this question of four parliamentary candidates sitting in front of her as part of an...
Executive Director, BBC Media Action USA
It’s not a stretch of the imagination to consider the potential risk posed by global health threats to us all. We’ve just seen how Ebola impacted the region of West Africa and scared people much further afield. We also remember SARS, bird flu and others, and then there’s the prospect of bioterrorism. As the eminent epidemiologist Larry Brilliant says, outbreaks are inevitable but pandemics are optional. He asserts that the difference between an outbreak and a pandemic is the speed and effectiveness of the response.
Last week, a group of experts gathered at the Rockefeller Foundation’s...
Country Director, Afghanistan
Three years after its launch, Shirazuddin Siddiqi reflects on how Afghanistan's TV debate show Open Jirga continues to provide a voice to Afghans amid insecurity and increased uncertainty.
In October 2012, we launched Open Jirga, our TV show in Afghanistan, with big ambitions. We wanted to play a role, however small, in ensuring a smooth and successful journey for the Afghan people through tough and testing times. Right from its first episode, Open Jirga brought together people from across the country to question their leaders on critical topics such as security, corruption, the economy,...
The potential of reforming state broadcasters in divided societies: advancing an unfashionable argument
Director, Policy and Learning
BBC Media Action's Director of Policy and Learning argues for an urgent rethinking of what is often considered a relic of the past - the state broadcaster - to encourage discussion, dialogue and understanding across communities in fragile states.
Most commentaries on 21st-century media focus on the impact of new technologies, social media and, above all, the increasing global ubiquity of mobile...
Content Producer, BBC Media Action in Tanzania
Our content producer in Dar es Salaam, Gaure Mdee, reveals how an interactive radio show has been informing young people ahead of the upcoming elections.
With only three days to go before my country goes to the polls, the atmosphere in our office in Dar es Salaam is one of expectation, excitement and anxiety all wrapped into one.
For the past year, our team has been travelling the length and...
Project coordinator, BBC Media Action Kenya
On the banks of a slimy grey river, a man is using a handcart to dump a barrel of human waste into the water. Sliding down the slope, the cart slips from his grasp and it tumbles in, forcing him to wade through the...
Apune Jacob Alfred
Researcher, BBC Media Action in South Sudan
The theme for this year's International Day of the Girl Child is the power of the adolescent girl and the vision for this generation of girls in 2030. As the day approaches, Apune Jacob Alfred reflects on the research he and colleagues at BBC Media Action have undertaken as part of the Girls’ Education programme in South Sudan.
"[I want to go to university] so that I can...