Service Trust to assist Afghanistan media reconstruction activities
BBC World Service Trust starts work today in Kabul in strengthening
the media sector in Afghanistan (Friday 8 February).
UK Governments Department for International Development has
given a £1 million grant to support immediate actions in the
next three months. These will focus on five areas:
Providing equipment to Radio/TV Afghanistan for two radio studios
and to stabilise radio production
· Training more than 150 journalists in Kabul and the regions
· Working in partnership with the Afghan Interim Authority
(AIA) to assess future needs and the foundations for a regulatory
framework for the media
· Production of radio programmes on the BBC World Service
in Pashto and Persian on the Loya Jirga - the traditional
council which will define the future constitution of Afghanistan
· Open a Media Resource Centre for Afghan journalists
King, Director of the World Service Trust said: "A strong,
vibrant and independent media is vital for rebuilding the social
fabric of Afghanistan. The BBC is looking forward to working in
partnership with Afghans to offering its expertise, experience and
technical know-how to lay one of the key foundation stones for a
stable future for the country."
will focus on:
· Opening a Media Resource Centre for Afghan journalists
in Kabul, to provide information, training and communications facilities.
The centre will also contribute towards co-ordination of international
media efforts in Afghanistan.
A five person training team aiming to provide basic journalism courses
to as many as 150 journalists in Afghanistan over a five week period
from 8 February. The team is led by William Reeve, previously the
BBC World Service Correspondent in Kabul, who survived the US bombing
of the Al-Jazeera BBC office in Kabul, when next door being interviewed
live on BBC World television. The team includes Meena Bakhtash from
the Persian Service, Shir Aqa Karimi of the Pashto Service, former
BBC News Editor Nick Nugent and Senior Trainer, Jackie Chambers.
Equipment - which includes studio equipment will be supplied and
installed by a technical team from BBC Technology Ltd
A number of experts from the BBC and other organisations including
the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
and Article 19 will work closely with the AIA to assess priorities
for the reconstruction of the media over the coming months. They
will address topics such as broadcast policy, freedom of speech,
gender and educational needs.
World Service Trust
BBC World Service Trust is an NGO established by the BBC World Service.
It is a registered charity which channels funds from outside sources
and uses communications for development in developing countries
and countries in transition. It builds the capacity of local and
national broadcasters and civil society organisations. It works
closely with the BBC World Service to deliver educational, health
and governance programmes and training.
on its previous work in the region, the Trust and the BBCs
Afghan Education Projects in Peshawar commenced a series of 15 minute
'lifeline' programmes in November 2001, targeting refugees and Internally
Displaced Persons in Afghanistan. These programmes were broadcast
twice daily in Pashto and Persian on the BBC's Pashto and Persian
services and were also supported by DFID.
Trust has now developed a series of proposals for a more extensive
project addressing technical rehabilitation, regulatory frameworks,
training of journalists and educational and other programming in
Afghanistan and in the region which it hopes to deliver over a three
to five year period.
on January 2002 needs assessment work in Afghanistan
the first stage of planning for the current project, a BBC team
took part in a needs assessment mission in Afghanistan under the
auspices of the UNs Department of Public Information in early
BBC team included a range of expertise from BBC Technology, BBC
Public Policy (for regulatory frameworks), the World Service Pashto
and Persian services, the Afghan Education Projects and the Trust.
met with Hamid Kharzai and leading ministers in the interim government,
Afghan broadcasters, journalists and UN agencies. The mission's
findings were incorporated into the Preliminary needs assessment
for recovery and reconstruction in Afghanistan which was presented
by the World Bank, UNDP and the Asian Development Bank to the recent
donors conference in Tokyo.