Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Bangladesh: Creating the First Women’s Broadcast News Agency

Knight International Journalism Fellow Kawser Mahmud discusses the impact of his project, which created a television news agency run by and for women in Bangladesh.

In a country where women have played a minor role in TV news, Kawser Mahmud has created the country’s first women’s broadcast news agency. The agency is giving women the skills they need to fill key positions in broadcast news at Bangladesh’s 10 newly licensed TV stations—and to produce stories on issues that may be of interest to women viewers.

Mahmud trained nearly three dozen women as reporters, producers and camera operators at the Television News Agency (TVNA). Most have been scooped up by the new independent TV stations. This initiative has created greater diversity in Bangladeshi newsrooms and given women a greater voice in the selection and production of news programming.

Mahmud has cultivated a new group of women broadcast journalists who will take over management of TVNA, hosted by the Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication. To become financially sustainable, Mahmud is helping them to develop content that will be sold to the independent TV stations for a fee. This summer, he is also producing a broadcast manual for Bangladeshi broadcast journalists.

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