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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Indian daily newspaper Malayala Manorama awarded 2005 IPDC-UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication

21-03-2006 4:15 pm The Indian daily newspaper Malayala Manorama, published in Kerala, today received the 2005 IPDC-UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication. The prize was awarded during a meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The Council meeting will continue until 23 March. At the IPDC Bureauís 49th meeting last February, financing for 41 projects in 30 countries was approved. The Council will discuss the preparation, financing, implementation and follow through for these programmes, all of which are aimed at fostering media pluralism and independence as well as the use of new communication technology. A full day, 22 March, will be devoted to a thematic debate on Giving Voice to Local Communities: From Community Radio to Blogs.

The US $20,000 Rural Communication Prize is awarded every two years. Malayala Manorama was selected for its imaginative communication campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of water conservation, which is also a concern of the World Water Forum underway in Mexico. The campaign, entitled Pala Thulli (Many a Drop) and launched in May 2004, focused on inculcating the local population with a new perspective on water. In addition to the articles published, seminars and workshops were organized, videos projected and brochures disseminated. Schools were especially targeted for attention through the organization of a contest.

This yearís other two finalists were the Community Media Centre of Banikoara (Benin) and Community Radio Madanpokhara (Nepal). Former laureates include: Radio Tico (Trinidad and Tobago), Maestro Pablo Pizzurno School and its radio station (Argentina), Radio Quispillaccta (Peru) and Radio Tanzania, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

The IPDC is the only multilateral forum within the United Nations system to promote the development of media in developing countries. It provides financing through voluntary contributions by donor countries while endeavouring to provide a climate conducive to promoting freedom of expression and media pluralism in developing countries.

IPDC consists of an Intergovernmental Council composed of 39 Member States elected by the UNESCO General-Conference, and a Bureau composed of eight Member States designated by the Council. Since its creation in 1980, the Programme has provided financial aid to over 1,1 00 projects in 139 countries.

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Source Press Release No. 2006-23

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