Friday, September 30, 2005

Using Media for empowerment

Two case studies where local media was used for empowerment.

Excerpt from:

" Here, we speak to Stalin K, a human rights activist who has being running a revolutionary radio programme to expose corruption in India's western Gujarat province.

Stalin K came up with the idea of the programme after, in January 2001, Gujarat suffered one of the worst earthquakes to hit India in half a century.

More than 20,000 people were killed by the 7.9 magnitude quake, and more than a million were made homeless.

Stalin K, who says his father named him in honour of the former Soviet leader, has turned a group of villagers into fearless reporters prepared to challenge people in power.

Stalin K's community-focused programmes are broadcast on state radio in the poor rural region of Kutch, Gujarat's largest district.

In the months following the earthquake, he put together a radio programme called To Be Alive looking into issues relating to compensation, government handouts and shelter programmes.

A few months later, he launched a programme investigating abuses of power that got "under the skin of powerful people," as Stalin K puts it.

"It became very popular," he says.


One case involved a local politician who had gathered all the compensation money destined for the quake victims in a remote Kutch village.

He kept a "princely amount" for himself and handed out the rest to the intended beneficiaries, Stalin K says.

When confronted by Stalin K's reporters, the politician, who was being secretly recorded, denied everything. "

Excerpt from:

Media campaign brings hope to desert
Shortage of water has been a tale of woe in Rajasthan for decades. But this year, the state's largest circulated Hindi daily, Rajasthan Patrika, has motivated around 155,000 volunteers to clean up 388 discarded traditional ponds and wells.


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