This book is the result of a research project covering eight countries in South and South East Asia examining the role and impact of alternative media. The definition of alternative media depends very much on the political, social, cultural and economic environment you live in. Thus, this book gives the reader an idea of the diversity of alternative media sources available across Asia, which is very much a result of the different media regulatory regimes in the countries we have included in this study.
While Bangladesh has had alternative media, in the form of community theatre and other artistic expressions for a long time, yet, community radio, which is fast becoming one of the most effective forms of alternative media in Asia, is slow to take off, because the regulations still do not allow it. Meanwhile in Indonesia and Thailand, community radio has taken off rapidly, with regulators struggling to come up with a formula to help regulate the sector while not shutting it down. In the Philippine community radio has existed legally for many years and is thriving, thus, there may be lessons others can learn from this experience. In Malaysia, where legislation tightly controls the establishment of media outlets, there are yet, some interesting examples of how alternative media could be effectively operated via the Internet. Sri Lanka, offers an interesting model where elements of community broadcasting could exist within a public service broadcaster.
Thus, this book, gives you interesting examples from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand of how people are getting their voices heard—or are struggling to make that happen—using a variety of media and methods of expression. This publication should be a useful text for students of mass communications, community media practitioners, media / human rights activists, development planners and who ever is interested in alternative media and its operating models.