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Summary of the Conclusion and Recommendations of Strategy Planning Meeting of Council of Asia/Pacific Press Institutes (CAPPI)

5-7 MAY, 2001

The Meeting of the Council of Asia/Pacific Press Institutes held from May 5 to 7, 2001 in Kathmandu adopted a comprehensive Plan of Action for strengthening the role of media in the emergent democracies of the Region.

It also adopted a number of recommendations which reiterate the commitment of CAPPI to safeguard human rights and freedom of the press as important cornerstones of democracy, promote free flow of information and media pluralism in the Region through support to free media. It also resolves to promote the role of media in the elimination of social inequities, injustices and exploitation by focusing media capacities on the improvement of the condition of children, women and other disadvantaged groups of the society.

The meeting has called upon the media to utilize their potentials for the conservation of environment and attainment of a safer and secure world by promoting the culture of peace, harmony and reconciliation as have been aptly emphasized by the United Nations as issues of global concern for this decade.

The meeting expressed concern over the rising influence of transnational media on the culture of developing nations and suggested to undertake more research studies on the impact of electronic media on younger age group people, including children and to adopt appropriate measures to protect the interests of the vulnerable groups of the society, It also calls the attention of media organizations and practitioners over the gradual deterioration of the ethical standards of a free press at the cost of commercial interests.

The meeting was held at Godavari, Kathmandu, from 5-7 May, 2001. Nepal's Foreign Minister Chakra P. Bastola declared open the meeting by lighting a lamp. H.E. Reudier Lemp, German ambassador to Nepal delivered a note of felicitation.

Thomas Bernd Stehling welcomed and addressed all the guests and participants to the 4th CAPPI meeting. He individually mentioned each participating institute for the success of the previous CAPPI meeting in Cambodia last year and commended Cambodia, particularly the Club of Cambodian Journalists which started their programs on media training and organizations after the meeting.

Ajit Bhattacharjea, Director of the Press Institute of India, delivered the vote of thanks.

Participation: Senior media executives of Press Institutes of Bangaldesh, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Fiji, India, Nepal and Pakistan who are also the founding members of CAPPI attended the meeting. In addition, representatives from the Cambodian Press Club, the dean of KAF Centre of Journalism at Ateneo University of the Philippines and Baltic Media Centre (BMC), Denmark attended the meeting as observers for the first time.

The participants presented country reports of the organizations represented and discussed on the emerging media trends, the challenges posed by new technologies and the need for enhanced support to human development programmes at national as well as regional levels.

At the conclusion, the meeting adopted an Action Plan that focuses on the training requirements for media practitioners in the countries of Asia Region including the absorption of new technologies, upgrading of the courses of studies, specialization and research.

The Action Plan

1. Media Training

In order to strengthen the development of free and independent indigenous media in Cambodia, CAPPI should come up with a standardized set of curricula and assist in the training of local journalists in association with national training institutes.

In the face of changing and fast developing information technologies, the meetings emphasized the need of bringing about further innovation in the existing training and develop more specialized courses for adoption by respective member institutes of the Region. CAPPI was requested to facilitate synergy and sharing of ideas while standardizing the training courses among the institutes giving the contents high credibility and image.

The meeting agreed to set up an expert's panel with the task of grading and improvement in the contents of some of the standard training courses most commonly used by media training institutions of the Region

Dr. Violet Valdez Dean, KAF Centre of Journalism, Ateneo University, Manila
Mr. Charles Fletcher Media Consultant, Baltic Media Centre
Mr. Fazal Qureshi Pakistan Press Foundation
Representative Nepal Press Institute

2. Online Networking and Information Exchange

With the expansion of the organizational responsibilities including the task of networking, it was suggested to strengthen the secretariat making it more functional. The meeting welcomed the offer made by the participant from Fiji that Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) would manage a web-site for CAPPI and launch an on-line bulletin to be shared among all the members. The proposed web-site could also act as a focal point for the UNESCO sponsored JOURNET.

PINA and NPI Secretariat will be 'collaborating' on this project and ensure its wider dissemination.

3. Organizational

a. Membership as per the provisions of CAPPI Charter, membership base should be widened further to include more members from countries in transition to democracies in various parts of Asia.

b. On the question of the 'pending' membership of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, it was decided to continue the observer status for another year until the next meeting will decide on the issue.

c. The membership fee of US$ 150 a year as specified at last years' meeting was endorsed without any alteration. The members were requested to remit the dues by the end of June, 2001.

4. Capacity Building of Training Institutions

In order to support the training initiatives of various media training organizations and institutes, it was suggested to create a regional pool of qualified trainers and organize a series of Trainers Training programmes. The meeting commended the support of KAF in organizing a regional level Trainers Training Workshop that was held in Manila in October, 2000.

5. Media Exchange Programme

In order to promote a culture of regional cooperation, goodwill and understanding among the people above narrow national interests, CAPPI is requested to promote exchange of journalists on short-term reporting errands. Start can be made in this direction by putting aside contentious issues and focusing more on human development themes, environment, population and health. Regional and international support agencies will be requested to assist the Media Exchange Programme organized by member institutes under the aegis of CAPPI.

6. The election of new office-bearers of CAPPI

The election of new office-bearers was held by consensus. Accordingly, Nepal Press Institute is elected chairman for the next two years term. The post of Vice -
Chair has gone to Pacific Islands News, Association (PINA). The Secretary-General is to be appointed by Nepal Press Institute and the Philippine Press Institute has been elected as treasurer of the Organization.

7. Venue for the next meeting

The next annual meeting of CAPPI has been suggested to be held in Seoul, Korea. Second option is given to Suva, Fiji.

ANNEX

Suggested Topics for Specialized Training

Environmental Reporting

  • Reporting the Environment - national and local
  • Forum on understanding environmental issues such as climate change, effects of industry and development, pollution and health hazards, etc.

Business & Economic Reporting

  • Understanding Economic Indicators
  • Reporting Business in a Global Economy
  • Reporting E-Commerce
  • Understanding Business & Finance Documents

Human Development / Grass root peoples

  • Empowerment
  • Reporting on Minorities
  • Human Rights Vs. individual Rights
  • Human Development

Reporting on Injustices and Human Rights Violations

  • Children's Issues e.g. Regulation of Television Commercials/ Programs
  • Media Sensitivity to HIV / Women's Issues

IT skills in Journalism

  • Basic Designing
  • Basic PC Skills
  • Online Publication I/IT
  • Computer-Assisted Reporting

Training of Trainers

  • National Program - Identification of 6 Trainers
  • Regional Conference -Trainers' Forum
  • Identifying Common Issues
  • Learn from each other

Reporting on Conflicts

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Legal & Ethical Dimension

Community Newspaper Management

  • Marketing Skills
  • Management Skills
  • Networking - National/Local and Regional
  • Focus Groups Meeting

 
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