Jagaran Media Center (JMC)

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JMC was established in 2000 by Dalit journalists who sought to challenge the embedded caste-based discrimination in Nepali society with media awareness.

Jagaran Media Center

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) is a non-governmental organization run by journalists representing Dalit and marginalized communities. Established in 2000 the organization advocates for eliminating caste-based discriminations and creating a more equitable, inclusive and secular society through media mobilization at local, national and international levels. JMC supports to enhance the capacity of Dalit journalists, promote inclusive media, both in term of inclusion of Dalit journalists and reporting content related to Dalit issues. In addition, JMC has been working for promoting human rights, gender equality and social inclusion, peace and governance, environmental justice and sustainable disaster risk reduction.

JMC has also been advocating and lobbying for inclusive media policy in Nepal. It advocates with media organizations and collaborates with different media organisations of Indigenous people, women, madhesi, muslim and differently-abled people. Recognizing JMC’s contribution, government of Nepal had included JMC representatives as a member of high-level committee formed to formulate media policy i.e. Inclusive Media Commission and High-level Mass Media Commission.

JMC has community radio, Radio Jagaran 93.6MHz, Regional office in western part of Nepal, Rupandehi and 75 district reporters.

Vision

To build an equitable and just society.

Mission

To end all forms of discrimination through mass media mobilization.

Objective              

  • To empower Dalit and marginalized people by increasing their access to information.
  • To raise voice against discrimination and promote equal and just society through various means of media.
  • To conduct lobby and advocacy for ensuring Human Rights of Dalit community.
  • To increase the number of media professionals from Dalit community and sensitize non-Dalit journalists so that they could bring Dalit issues into public discourse.

Strategy and Approaches

  • Build strong partnership, collaboration, coordination and working with government, national and international non-governmental organizations, donor agencies and other like-minded organizations.
  • Create media campaigns for equality, non-discrimination and just society through networks and alliances.
  • Continuous advocacy and lobby through media mobilization.

Program Areas

  • Media Development
  • Dalit Human Rights
  • Gender and Social Inclusion
  • Disaster and Climate Change
  • Peace and Democracy
  • Research and Publication

  Media Initiatives

Journalism Training

Information is a key element to inform and empower the people. JMC believes that only informed people can take better decision. JMC has been providing journalism training to Dalit youth to increase the number of Dalit journalists at national and local media houses (Print media, Broadcasting media, and Online). Also, the organization has been providing training to non-Dalit journalists in order to sensitize them about Dalit issues. This has greatly helped to increase Dalit community’s access to information. The organization has already trained more than 800 Dalit youths. They were trained in course of series of journalism trainings and programs. Furthermore, JMC has been providing thematic journalism training on Human Rights, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, Disaster Risk Reduction, Education, Health and Governance.

Community FM Radio

JMC has established Community radio "Radio Jagaran 93.6 MHz" in Butwal in January 2007 with 500 WATT. This is the first radio station run by Dalit community in South Asia. The radio produces and broadcasts wide range of issues on Dalit, women, indigenous peoples, differently able people, Madhesi, LGBTI and Muslim in order to ensure their social justice and equality in the society. The listeners in three adjoining districts of Butwal have started forming Jagaran Groups to get involve with the radio station. More than 30 groups and 20 information centers have been established. They have been continuously engaged in initiating door-to-door campaigns, street drama and other activities organized by Information Center to end social discrimination.

Jagaran Information Centers

With the view of maintaining mutual collaboration between Radio Jagaran and the community levels people, 20 Information Centers have been formed in the 15 VDCs of Rupendehi, Kapilvastu and Navalparasi. These centers are primarily engaged in promoting awareness at community level and sensitizing local level governmental agencies through lobby and advocacy, door-to-door campaign, street drama performance. They also act as the basic source of information to Radio Jagaran in respect with social issues.

Jagaran Groups

Because of popularity of the Radio Jagaran 93.6 MHz, local people surrounding three districts started forming Jagaran Groups to get associated with the radio station. More than 30 groups have been formed so far.

Both Jagaran Information Centers and Jagaran Group were formed in the local initiatives to work as bridge between community level people and Radio station. They are self-sustained and socially motivated and committed to mitigate social injustice through participatory method. They carry out door to door campaign, street drama, lobby with law enforcement agencies and policy makers of local level and report local news to Radio Jagaran.

Television Programme

JMC has been producing and broadcasting "Pahal Samabeshikaran", a fortnightly TV program, through national ABC television. The main objectives of the program are to raise awareness on issues related to Dalit, Women and Marginalized communities. The programme aims to facilitate the creation of a Safe space for purposeful face-to-face engagement to enable individuals and communities to transform their perceptions and attitude towards each other. In addition, the episodes of TV programs are also shared through Jagaran Media Center's networks and social meida i.e. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

JMC produced Dalan, a popular tele-serial, focusing on hardship, suppression and struggles of Dalit community in Nepal. Fifty-two episodes of the tele-serial were broadcasted through Nepal Television. Various academic institutes and right bodies across the world acknowledged the serial as resource material. Impressed by its immense popularity, people formed viewers’ club in different parts of the country and get associated with Dalan. More than 500 Dalan viewers’ clubs have been formed within and outside the country. Apart from Nepal such clubs were formed in India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the United Kingdom. These clubs are the tools to carry out JMC mission. This program was awarded from NTV and One World Media, UK.

Media Watch and ebullition

JMC is also monitoring media content and coverage regarding Dalit issues. It publishes Media Watch report every month. All national level daily newspapers are monitored and evaluated regarding the frequency of articles published on Dalit issues. Different subjects like Dalit human rights, education, women, health, conflict, incidents etc. are also analyzed. It also holds discussion over Media watch with all the chief editors of newspapers in a gap of six month. The main objective of this media watch program is to create more media coverage on Dalit issues in Nepali newspapers. JMC ha also been continuously publishing E-bulletin on monthly basis. 

Media Content Production

JMC has been developing content for radio, television, and street drama on Dalit and its crosscutting issues. The major themes are untouchability, caste and gender-based discrimination, gender equality and social inclusion, political participation, constitutional provision, health, education, social security schemes, political representation, inclusion, human rights, democracy, disaster and its impact, access on resources, services and so on.  Based on developed content, JMC produces radio and television programs, which further disseminated through local and national radio/television stations.

Media Action Grassroots Networks

Jagaran Media Centre has local and national media action groups for eliminating and advocating discrimination, untouchability, and ensuring the caste and gender equality and human rights of Dalit and marginalized communities. 20 information centers, 30 Jagaran groups, 500 Dalan groups and 5 Dalit human rights defender groups, JMC’s representatives from 75 districts of Nepal, Federation of Nepali Journalist Branches, and community FM radio stations are JMC’s media action grassroots networks. The formed grassroots networks are consistently fighting to make equitable and inclusive society where everyone can live in discrimination free society.

Through the JMC grassroots networks, JMC reached and recognized local and national Dalit issues, political parties and leaders, right holder and duty bearers, media houses and journalists to mainstream Dalit issues through media mobilization. The networks are continuously engaged in making accountable service delivery agencies and empowering Dalit communities for exercising their rights.

Jagaran Online

Jagaran Media Centre has also started its online from 2017 to mainstream Dalit issues. It is a complete media hub where Dalit related local, regional and national NEWS are documented and disseminated within likeminded organizations. Moreover, JMC online visitor can get all the Dalit related news, radio programs, television programs, PSA/Jingle, researches and publication, reports, online Radio jagaran, view and opinion, documentaries, success stories, and other Dalit related information. The NEWS in the online are both in English and Nepali.

Social Media

JMC has been regularly updating mainstream the Dalit issues through JMC’s website (http://www.jagaranmedia.org.np/), blog (https://jagaranmediacenter.wordpress.com/), Twitter account, YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5xepBkAKEbpe2mnSVHFm5A)  channel and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jagaran.media/),  JMC disperses on a daily basis.  It has become a valuable tool to interact with members and interested parties.

Performance Art

JMC is using performance arts tool for raising awareness on Dalit issues and gender equality and social inclusion. In 2003 JMC had organized a SAARC level open fine art exhibition on Dalit issues. Moreover, JMC has been organizing street drama, exhibition, Teej celebration on Dalit related issues. The primary objective of performance arts is to create awareness and hold government officials accountable on Dalit related issues.

Dalit Human Rights

 

Nepalese society is divided on caste system, where Dalit are placed at the bottom of caste hierarchy and considered to be impure and duty. Every day, individual from Dalit community faced untouchablity, caste based discrimination, and treated to be step-citizen. Even as Nepal criminalized untouchability and signed the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) the implementation of such laws and convention has been very weak that result to violation Dalit human rights. Therefore, JMC has making consensus citizen on their human right and advocating making accountable law enforcement agencies for ensuring the human rights of Dalit and marginalized communities through media mobilization.

Dalit Human Rights Portal

The Dalit Human Rights Portal (DHR-PORTAL) is an online platform established for advancing the works on eliminating caste-based discrimination and untouchability (CBD&U). This is a system designed to keep government officials, police officials, local organizations, activists, journalists and common people alert to incidents of violence and human rights violations committed against Dalit. This also allows local, national and international organizations to report issues of rights violations. It also supports concerned law enforcing agencies to hold rule violators accountable and provide justice to the victims of cast-based discrimination. www.dalithumanrights.org.np.

Fact-finding and Case Documentation

In view of ensuring Dalit human rights, JMC has been advocating from the very beginning of its inception. It conducts fact finding missions and collects cases of Dalit human rights violation and disseminates to the mainstream and local media, conducts field visits to monitor the cases, organizes meetings with Dalit-rights based organizations and creates pressure on concerned agencies to ensure justice to the victim. Its national network of Dalit and pro-Dalit journalists help to collect cases of rights violations.

Advocacy /Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

 JMC has been consistently advocating and campaigning for ensuring the human rights of Dalit community. Through media mobilization, JMC has been crating awareness among right holders (Dalit and Marginalized communities) on their rights and holding duty holders (law enforcement agencies, and services delivery agencies) accountable. The organization is also organizing live media dialogue as a media campaign at national and local level.

Peace and Democracy

Social Movement Dialogue Forum

In Nepal various social groups exist and are struggling to obtain justice and equality. JMC established a forum for dialogue among different social movement tried to seek a common point of understanding and agenda. This forum was held from local to central level so as to identify the gaps among them at different levels. This was an affirmative initiative that JMC took with the emphasis to bring social movements of Nepal closer for high-level dialogue and discussion. In each dialogue the representatives from different social groups including but not limited to Dalit, Indigenous, Madhesi, Women, and religious minorities were participated and engaged in discussion in sound manner that laid the ground for acknowledging each other.

Intra Dalit Dialogue

Discrimination practice within Dalit community is considered as one of the reasons of weakening Dalit movement in Nepal. Realizing this fact, JMC undertakes intra-Dalit Dialogue in order to review the agenda of Dalit movement in Nepal. This program basically seeks to promote the culture of dialogues within the community and take measure to minimize intra Dalit discriminatory practices, which has been prevailed within the different Dalit sub caste groups.

Face-to-Face Interaction

The organization has been mainstreaming the Dalit issues through face-to-face interaction, which are primarily focuses on state law and regulation’s impact on Dalit community. The face-to-face interaction aims to create safe and healthy environment, where Dalit community and services delivery agencies interact on Dalit community problems, demand, and strength and for effective government rules and regulation. Based on the outcome, continues lobby at national level, seminar, workshops, conferences and media campaign has been organized by JMC.

Jagaran Dialogue Series

JMC’s mission is advancing bold new ideas to drive systemic change in the Nepal regarding to the Dalit Human Rights, dignity and social justice. Nepal has reached a moment of heightened national consciousness about caste, race, class, and the opportunity gap. The Dialogue series showcases achievement, innovation and inspiration of social justice. At each gathering, different theme related with Dalits Human Rights, dignity and social justice identified and concerned stakeholders are invited to share their views. These series have emerged as a common platform for all kind of social movement in Nepal.

 JMC has also conducted special dialogue series intra-Dalit discrimination and social movement dialogue forum in five different administrative regions. It is also conducting several dialogues on contemporary issues. The ultimate goal of JMC is to make peaceful, harmonious and democratic society, where Dalit and marginalized communities will exercise their equal rights.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)

The organization believes that reservation, positive discrimination and gender and social inclusion can materialize organizational dream of social justice into reality. On GESI issues, Jagaran Media Centre has been producing and broadcasting radio and television programs, street drama, training to working journalists for enhancing the capacity, skill and knowledge, PSA/Jingles, and developing content and manual publication on similar issues. The developed manual are published and widely distributed among journalists, media houses, political parties, elected candidate, Dalit and human rights activists, and other different stakeholders.

Disaster and Climate Change

In Nepal, Dalit community are being excluded in social and cultural spheres, and are deprived from education, health, political participation, income generating opportunities, and information.  Within the total population, 46% of Dalit population is under the poverty line, which results in their vulnerable situation, settlement, which result in disaster and climate change prone areas. Therefore, the impact of disaster and climate change is huge, where Dalit community could not overcome easily.

JMC has been advocating on disaster and climate change issues in different ways. Through media mobilization such as television program, radio program, street drama, PSA/Jingles, workshop, seminar, JMC is awarding Dalit community on environmental issues for building safety preparedness, and in other has been advocating with policy maker / duty holders for resolving Dalit’s problems or uplift Dalit and marginalized condition after disaster. Meantime, VOLIKA LAGI AJAI, radio programs has been produced and broadcasted on Dalit and Disaster issues, and disseminated at local and national radio stations.

Jagaran Research and Resource Center

JMC is a key institution to get Dalit related information and resources materials in Nepal. JMC has collected books, articles, research reports, and cases studies of Dalit human rights violations in Nepal. Also, audio/visual documents are archived in the Center. In addition, JMC conducts researches about various media and Dalit related issues.

 The organization welcomes journalists, students, professors and researchers. It has become a source for enlightenment for readers while the organization has used it as the tool to advocate right issues.

 The JMC resource center has a collection of 602 books on Dalit issues, inclusive of sub themes like media, reservation, women, law, history, politics, children, conflict etc. It also has an archive of approximately 5000 working papers and reports on Dalit issues. The Center continually strives to expand its activities and become the leading resource for Dalit related information in Nepal.

Awards Establishment

Darnal Award for Social Justice

The Darnal Award for Social Justice is an international award that celebrates and honours of Suvash Darnal, founding chairperson of the JMC. Biennially the Award recognize and support the work of an individual, organization, or a movement that has been steadfastly fighting for social justice, dignity, and a better future for the Dalits and other marginalized people in Nepal and beyond. The prize of award is five lakh Nepalese rupees.

Awards Received

JMC's role as a media based advocacy organization has been acknowledged in national and international level. As of now, JMC had bagged various awards. They are as follows.

  1. Runner up, One World Media Awards, UK, for Dalan Tele-serial, 2009 AD.
  2. Runner up, Nepal Television, Best Tele-serial Award, 2009 AD.
  3. Ambedkar Kalshree Award.
  4. National Social Service Award, Goverment of Nepal. 2072 BS.

Affiliation, Membership and Partnership

Affiliation & Membership

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Nepal, AMARC, Nepal, Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB), Nepal, Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP), Nepal, Dalit NGO Federation (DNF), Nepal, South Asia network for community media and Asian Dalit Right Forum (ADRF). International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), Humanitarian Accountability monitoring Initiatives (HAMI), Democracy and election watch (DEW), SDGS research initiatives. Durban Review Committee, EU Human Rights Defenders Group.

Partnership

JMC has established partnership with various governmental and NGOs and INGOs and UN organizations. They include United Nation Development Project (UNDP), CARE Nepal, Finnish Embassy in Nepal, ITDG, Swiss Development Cooperation, DED, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hong Kong, Advocacy Project (AP), DOEN Foundation, AusAID, DFID/DEIP, Action Aid and DANIDA/HUGOU. It has also worked with European Union (EU), Movies that Matter, and Prince Claus Fund, Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), Governance Facility (GF), USAID, The Asia Foundation (TAF) and UNESCO,

Publication

JMC has established publication department to regulate all JMC publications. The department publishes e–bulletins, JMC’s annual reports; quarterly based media watch reports and books. Some of its publications are as follows:

  • Silence Resistance (Maun Pratirodh): An Art Exhibition against Untouchability, 2003
  • Politics of Special Right and Reservation, 2008
  • Reservation, Local Interaction and Conclusions, 2008
  • Issues of Dalit Community in Nepali Media, 2012
  • Situation of Dalit Human Right, 2008
  • Dalit in Legislative Parliament: Interaction with CA members, 2009
  • Subash Darnal Memorial Anthology, 2012
  • Jagaran Lekhmala (Collection of features on Dalit issues)
  • Jagaran Best Practices, 2012
  • Dalit Targeted Policy, Program and Social Security of Government of Nepal: An Information Collection, 2013
  • United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820, Domestic Violation Act, 2010: An Information Booklet, 2013
  • Freedom of Expression and Importance of Safety of Journalists, 2014
  • Social Diversity and Gender Equality in Nepali Media: a Training Manual, 2014
  • Booklet on Anti- Untouchability Act 2011, 2013
  • Booklet on NAP (132&1820) and Domestic Violence Act 2066 (2009), 2013
  • Flip charts with illustration on key provisions of Anti-Untouchability Act and Domestic Violence Act, 2013
  • Booklet on compiled information of government targeted programmes and social security schemes, 2013

Jagaran Media Center Guiding Principles

Treaties of human rights: JMC respects and follows international and national standard human rights treaties, conventions and laws.

Respect cultural Diversity: JMC promotes and respects all cultural diversity, ethnicity, religion, languages, caste, class, gender, sex and geographical origin and creates conducive environment to work in a collaborative way.

Freedom of expression: JMC respects and promotes right to information, freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Scientific culture: JMC promotes fact telling culture rather than one that is based upon unfounded and unsubstantiated beliefs and superstitions.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: JMC ensures Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in its organizational structure and program activities.

Democratic values and principles: JMC adheres to promote the democratic values of accountability and transparency.


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