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RMRCs – Decentralizing and diversifying media opportunities

Nepal Press InstituteNepal Press Institute

In order to promote indigenous and community media in the districts by facilitating access to modern technologies and skills, NPI founded two Regional Media Resource Centers (RMRCs) in Biratnagar and Nepalgunj (1995) and one in Butwal (2003).

The Centers form important components of the Danish Media Support Project. Plans are underway to make them as branches of NPI with adequate operational autonomy.

Local management committees have been set up to take care of the management of the centers and mobilise local support to enable them sustain in the future. The RMRCs function as important outposts in the delivery of media training and skill development services over a wide area, covering several remote districts.

In addition to implementing national programs, the RMRCs operate several activities independent of NPI Central Office. The programs are of local nature and include: periodic Meet the Press, three-month-long basic journalism courses, production and distribution of features, advocacy and lobbying on social development issues and other partnership projects not governed by the project. The project support has enabled the rejuvenation of the independent and indigenous media outside the capital city.

It also helped to correct the imbalance apparent in the distribution of media resources in the urban and rural areas and the over–concentration of facilities in few urban centers of the Kingdom.

The initiatives have helped to promote people’s access to information and have strengthened the process of democratization and human rights in the districts.

A number of publishing companies came into existence in various districts of the country making it possible for the public information reaching to the doorsteps of the people at the grassroots level. The inputs also facilitated the adoption of new technologies by publishing houses – a phenomenon hitherto limited to Kathmandu valley only.

Besides, the large-scale training inputs created a host of qualified reporters and journalists who promoted the flow of news between the capital-based mainstream newspapers and the outside districts.

The Center basically conducts the following activities:
1. Media Training (Basic, advanced and specialized)
2.Journalism orientations on different social issues
3. Workshop, symposium and seminars
4.Meet the Press events on contemporary social issues
5.Supportive programs: Fellowships, Scholarships, Field-based Reporting, team reporting and other facilities such as desktop printing, fax, photocopy, telephone etc.
6. Publication: Feature bulletins, books, media reports.