Digital communications are everywhere and yet policymakers are still struggling to respond with appropriate structures and governance models. It's necessary to move beyond celebrating greater accessibility and affordability in order to tackle fundamental questions about ownership and regulation as well as ethical questions about privacy, security and surveillance.
There are 59 recognized Indigenous nations and 125 ethnic/caste groups in Nepal, representing approximately 35% of the country’s population. Many of these nations and groups speak their own languages; it is estimated that 123 different languages are spoken in Nepal. Despite this linguistic and cultural diversity, most Indigenous people in Nepal do not have access to media platforms and content as most of it is available only in Nepali and English and does not reflect their needs and interests. Furthermore, most of Nepal’s media is owned and controlled by those more socially and economically powerful.
However, over the past few years, the country’s media landscape has begun to change due the emergence of a vibrant community radio movement. This change still has to take place in the print and television sectors, where Indigenous voices are rarely heard. The exception to this situation is Indigenous Television, an indigenous community television channel with national cable coverage that broadcasts in 8 indigenous languages. The channel’s viewers are mostly in urban areas, though many Indigenous radio stations broadcasting in rural remote areas have a working relationship with the channel.
This project seeks to build the capacity of WACC partner Indigenous Television to work with more indigenous communities in order to produce weekly programmes in 4 new languages. The project also focuses on developing a strategy to share content through digital platforms that will reach more people. Content produced will focus on cultural and linguistic rights, the right of access to information, land rights, and environmental issues. The project seeks to address the communication and information needs of Indigenous people in Nepal while also helping to build a stronger more sustainable community media and Indigenous rights movement.