New Delhi: Konark, a city in the Puri district of Odisha, India, is set to host the ‘Asia Centre for Community Media’. The non-profit organization, Young India, has proposed the establishment of this centre of excellence for community media, which aims to promote community media and development communication across Asian countries.
The Asia Centre for Community Media will offer short-term courses, training, and capacity-building workshops for media studies students, community media practitioners, and journalists from across Asia. The centre will boast a conference hall for national and international conferences, a training hall that can accommodate up to 100 participants, two modern classrooms, accommodation facilities, and a digital library with a cafeteria.
The location of the centre, situated in Konark, a popular tourist destination known for its Sun Temple, scenic beauty, historic monuments, sea beaches, forest, wildlife, and handicrafts, makes it an ideal venue for hosting conferences, meetings, and training programs for international and national organizations, institutions, and media houses.
The Asia Centre for Community Media will be established and operated with the support of like-minded individuals, institutions, civil society organizations, and government bodies. With the increasing corporatization and monopolization of media houses, the establishment of the centre provides a glimmer of hope for the masses. It will serve as a platform for cross-learning and research in the field of development communication, social media, and community media.
Young India is a national-level organization that has been working in social development for over three decades. The organization’s efforts in social development have been recognized with several national and international awards, including the National Youth Award and five National Community Radio Awards. Mr. N. A. Shah Ansari, a renowned community media specialist, journalist, and social activist, has initiated the idea for the centre. He has served as the National President of the Community Radio Association of India and, under his leadership, the community radio and community media movement in India has taken a new dimension. With his leadership, the Asia Centre for Community Media is expected to become a centre of excellence for community media in Asia and a pride for the state of Odisha, after the world heritage Sun Temple.