UNESCO Online Master Classes for Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh

Community Radio Stations are playing a vital role in the life of communities and their sustainable development as well as more recently through the COVID-19 response. UNESCO, through its Communication and Information Programme, supports and encourages community media, including community radio in Bangladesh.

In this context, the UNESCO Dhaka Office, with funding support from the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism and with the help of international and national expert trainers, conducted two sets of capacity-building Online Master Classes for Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh between 8 and 15 December 2020.

A total of 72 participants from 18 community radio stations across Bangladesh participated in the two sets of capacity-building Online Master Classes:

1. Online Master Classes on Social Media Broadcasting: With facilitation support from Prof. Vasuki Beladi, Faculty Fellow, UNESCO Chair on Community Media, as well as other expert facilitators in the field of Social Media Broadcasting, the engaging five-day Master Classes built participants’ knowledge and expertise in a range of areas and topics including producing innovative and interactive social media content for community radio stations, increasing audience interaction on social media, recording and editing radio content for social media using mobile devices including smartphones.

2. Online Master Classes on COVID-19 Broadcasting: With facilitation support from expert trainer Ms. Zerrin Afza, the engaging and very participatory five-day Master Classes on COVID-19 Broadcasting focused on building the capacity of community radio stations in areas relevant to COVID-19 broadcasting, including accessing and verifying information, updates, and awareness-raising materials related to COVID-19 in Bangladesh, as well as how to identify and prevent the spread of misinformation/disinformation in radio broadcasting.

The five-day Online Master Classes were kicked off by an opening ceremony during which Ms. Beatrice Kaldun, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh and Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Senior Professor of Communication and UNESCO Chair on Community Media at University of Hyderabad welcomed participants. On the last day of the five-day Master Classes participants received certificates of participation during a virtual Certificate Ceremony.

The UNESCO Online Master Classes for Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh were a great success. Participating community radio stations reported to have improved their technical and editorial capacities to serve diverse audiences with relevant, reliable, and accurate information following the Online Master Classes – and are looking forward to further training opportunities in the future.

Online Master Classes Trainers:

Quotes from participants:

For 2021, the UNESCO Dhaka Office is planning to prepare a series of self-paced training materials based on conducted master classes. These will be made available for community radio and other media stakeholders in Bangladesh and aim to provide technical support to overall strengthen Bangladesh’s community media sector in the post-COVID era.