When it comes to media development cooperation in Asia, complex and disparate media structures require tailor-made solutions. There are countries, such as Cambodia, where the media continue to be heavily controlled by the state. Although freedom of the press there is officially entrenched in the constitution it remains in the hands of political and business interests. By contrast, Mongolia and Bhutan are transforming their former state broadcasters into public ones.
DW Akademie recently became active in Myanmar where working with journalists was once almost impossible. Current projects are focusing on practical journalism training as well as on accompanying the country's first steps towards creating a public media sector. DW Akademie is also active in countries such as Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and Laos. In large media markets such as India, we have sought ways to offer other customized initiatives, such as an exchange project for young Indian journalists.
And in Afghanistan and Pakistan we are working with private stations and state broadcasters to redesign children's television programs. We are also supporting Kabul University in developing its own practice-oriented journalism degree program.
Media development cooperation within this context requires flexible approaches to training and consulting, and concepts that are jointly developed with local partner organizations in order to reflect their specific needs. Our approach has moved away from individual projects towards providing on-going consulting services, training, and support at all levels in order to bring about lasting, sustainable changes.