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USAID’s Rasana program focuses on female journalists

USAID’s Rasana program focuses on female journalists

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Jul 26, 2017 - 19:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): USAIDinfo-icon on Wednesday said its ‘Rasana program’ would support the Afghan independent media sector in providing reliable and balance information to citizens across the country.

A USAID statement said the program would build on significant gains made in the media sector over the last 15 years.

It said Rasana, meaning media in Dari, provided particular support to womeninfo-icon journalists and women-run or women-owned media organizations

“The program aims to achieve this goal through four program areas: (1)support and training for women journalist ,(2) investigative journalism initiatives (3) advocacy and training for the protection of journalist (4) expanding the outreach of media through small grants for content production in underserved area.”

Herbert Smith, USAID country director, said the Internews Network would lead the Rasana project. He said those working with media outlets put their lives in danger and should be supported.

About a recent Journalist Safety Committee (JSC) report, Smith said the killing of 10 Afghan journalists in the first six months of 2017 indicated a surge in violence against the community.

He said supporting journalists and media outlets was USAID priority and the agency had worked with Tolo and other media organisations in capacity building area in the past.

He said main objective of the projects was to support women journalists and those work in investigative reporting.

Activities: 1-training mentoring 550 female journalists across the country to increase their skills and produce multi-platform public interest content.

2-training and mentoring 150 female citizen journalist across the country to produce social media public interest content

3-providing financial support and mentoring to 17 women-run and women owned radio stations in providing to produce high quality content.

4-implementing an openly competed women in media small grants fund for woman focused content or women journalist initiatives to strengthen women’s role in the media sector.

5-training and mentoring 150 journalists (30 percent women)in investigative journalism skills to produce in-depth and investigative reports.

6- supporting three leading media outlets (the killid group, Pajhwok Afhgan news and Hasht-e-Sobh to produce in-depth and investigative reports on issues of public interest.

7-encoutaging the development of an investigative journalist network and the establishment of annual investigative journalism fellowships.

8- developing localized safety guidelines in Pashtu and Dari and providing practical training to at least 200 journalists on physical and digital security.

9- monitoring and advocating for the implementation of government commitments to protect journalist at the provincial and national level.

10-providing openly competed small grants to local radio and TV outlets in underserved areas of Afghanistaninfo-icon to produce public interest content.

Humma Habib from media support orgnisation NAI said: “Local media plays a very influential role in provinces because people trust it. Actually it is the language of them and finally they can easily get in touch to the local media.”

She said fortunately in provinces local media was a proper place for women where female journalists could express themselves as professionals and experts.

“Though mostly a negative view of women prevails in our societyinfo-icon, yet their participation is good and has changed a lot.”

She said positive thing about female journalists was that they had professionally improved and had the capacity to work more than before.

“The good point is that they have self-confidence to express themselves as journalists in traditional situation of Afghanistan.”

pr/ma

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