Recognising the true potential of community radio as hyper-local media in crises such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UNESCO Chair on Community Media at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad conducted two capacity-building workshops or Master Training Classes on Social Media Broadcasting for community radios (CRs) in Bangladesh and Mongolia respectively.

The first five-day Online Master Training Classes on Social Media Broadcasting was conducted for community radios in Bangladesh from December 8th to December 10th and from December 14th to December15th, 2020. It was organised in association with UNESCO Dhaka Office, and the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression provided the funding support. The training workshop aimed to build community radio stations’ capacities in using social media to increase engagement and supplement their daily broadcasts. It trained the community radio stations on how to use mobile and online tools and implement effective techniques in creating engaging content for social media. The workshop also focused on the best practices of other CR stations and ethical practices on using social media. Around 40 participants from 17 CR stations in Bangladesh participated in the workshop.

The second five-day Online Master Training Classes on Social Media Broadcasting was conducted for community radios in Mongolia in association with the UNESCO Beijing Office and the Community Radio Association of Mongolia. The capacity-building workshop was conducted between 4th and 9th May 2021. The workshop helped build participants’ knowledge and expertise in social media broadcasting to effectively disseminate information in times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, with their respective communities. Around 20 participants from across nine community radio stations in Mongolia participated in the workshop.

A screenshot from the Mongolia Master Class.

Both the workshops were conducted with the active support and help of international and national expert trainers. Professor Vasuki Belavadi, Faculty Fellow at the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, coordinated and provided the facilitation support for the workshops. On the successful completion of both the workshops, Professor Belavadi said, “There is a huge prospect that community radios can explore while using social media as a platform to amplify their reach because that is the ultimate goal of community radios. Social media could be handy in engaging with audiences and increasing participation as they are very interactive and helpful in creating and sharing information, ideas and interests using text, images, and videos.”

Professor Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair on Community Media, and other officials from regional UNESCO offices in Dhaka and Mongolia were present at the opening and closing ceremonies in both the workshops.

 

By CR News Team