• Friday, December 19, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    The Gender Thread in The Mekong Media Forum

    How have economic integration and openness shaped the media environment in the Mekong region? What do audiences expect in the age of more openness? What is the role of the market in today’s media in the Mekong region? Are all state media for propaganda? What voices and places do women journalists have in their newsrooms? How are women and gender issues portrayed in the region’s media?

    What changes in press laws and access to information have taken place in the last 15 years? What are the differences in policy toward media, say, between countries like China and Vietnam? What hurdles do local photojournalists face in reaching regional and international audiences? What ‘inside’ stories can local journalists provide that visiting journalists cannot have as good access to?

    These are some of the questions to be discussed and debated at the Mekong Media Forum, to be held in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai in December 2009.

    It will be organised by IPS Asia-Pacific and Probe Media Foundation Inc, two Asia and Southern-based organisations that since 2002 have been running the Imaging Our Mekong media fellowship programme for Mekong journalists. See our video Mekong Media Forum.

    mekong-video_

    A creative, celebratory and unique event, the Mekong Media Forum will bring journalists and interested groups together to take stock of the media situation in the region; to feature among the best stories, photo essays and documentaries from journalists from China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam; to discuss areas of development of the media as an actor in social change; and to identify future trends and forge linkages and partnerships.

    A mix of film showings, photo exhibits and visual presentations, book and DVD launches, as well as panel discussions, skills-building workshops and talk show-format discussions, is expected.

    Many of the journalist-fellows who have been with the Imaging Our Mekong media fellowships will be taking part in this event, which is anchored on highlighting media voices from within the Mekong region and on looking at changes in the media since the process of economic integration picked up in 1992 in the wake of peace and market reforms.

    There will also be discussions around gender issues, providing an opportunity for sharing best-practices with other parts of South-east Asia. An assessment of the representation of women in media across the region will be presented to the Forum, which will also be the launch venue of the 3rd edition of the IPS Gender Glossary.

    The “gender thread” in the Forum is being weaved in as part of IPS Asia-Pacific’s work within an ongoing global IPS initiative, ‘Communicating for Change: Getting Voice, Visibility and Impact for Gender Equality’.

    There are many Asian media events — but a Mekong media event is a unique opportunity to listen to, discuss with and learn from the journalists of this fast-changing yet often under-reported region. Be part of it!

    For inquiries about attendance, and creative ways of participation and partnership, please write to coordinator.mekongmediaforum@mail.com.

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