The project included 30 media workers from four countries across South Asia, who helped develop a Code of Conduct to Improve Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists in South Asia. Thirty news pieces from our fellows were also produced in their respective countries, building upon principles included in the newly crafted Code of Conduct.

 The project was organised by the Public Media Alliance, with support from our local partner Media Action Nepal, the UNESCO New Delhi Office, and the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

On 1 November, a consultation meeting was held with stakeholders – including press council representatives, media academics, and journalists – from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to review and offer feedback on the draft Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct was the key output of the project, and was developed to strengthen the South Asian media environment in terms of conflict sensitive reporting, journalist safety, and self-regulation. It was produced following a three-day workshop with 30 media workers from the target countries, with each participating country contributing their local knowledge and expertise to the code’s finalisation. The finalised report will act as a strategy document, advising journalists and media workers across the region on how they can cover areas such as conflict, human rights, and gender in an informed, fair, and safe manner.

A consultation meeting with stakeholders from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka was held on 1 November to review the draft Code of Conduct.

Project facilitator Dr. Sadia Jamil said the document recognises the socio-political, religious, and cultural intricacies of South Asian societies and further acknowledges ethical dilemmas faced by journalists when reporting on conflict. “The project is certainly distinctive as it takes into account a multistakeholder approach for devising a code of conduct for conflict sensitive reporting. It’s a mutual effort that enables Journalists to differentiate between ‘their right to do’ and ‘what is right to do’ when reporting on conflict,” she said.

Namrata Sharma, a freelance Nepalese journalist and Immediate Past President of the Center for Investigative Journalist (CIJ) in Nepal, participated in the consultation meeting and emphasised the importance of journalistic codes of conduct. “Although a code of conduct for journalists may sound restrictive, it could be essential for fair and factual conflict sensitive reporting,” she said. “The exercise done by the Public Media Alliance and its partners like Media Action Nepal in training journalists to produce reports based on a code of conduct is commendable.”

“Any code of conduct for journalists should not be restrictive to press freedom but complementary to the work of journalists and the global population.” — Namrata Sharma
The final Code of Conduct will include recommendations to improve the South Asian media landscape in regard to issues such as journalist safety and gender.

The final code of conduct will be launched within the coming weeks.

Workshop participants were also given a series of mentoring sessions run by the regional facilitator Laxman Datt Pant. During these sessions, participants were individually guided on developing, pitching, and creating stories with conflict sensitive reporting in mind. Out of these sessions, 30 participants have since produced news pieces (both written and audiovisual) that have been published and/or broadcast in their respective countries.

Some notable pieces include:

  • The pain of armed conflict: when will the wounds be healed? [Watch – Nepali] By Prabha Thapa of Nepal: Following her husband’s death during a period of conflict, a woman struggles with the social, economic, and cultural challenges of little support of the government and the denial of justice.
  • Diaspora Journalists and Democracy in Sri Lanka [Tamil] by Keshayinie Edmund of Sri Lanka: With a history of conflict, Sri Lanka has proven dangerous for many journalists. In this piece, diaspora journalists question the integrity of democracy and describe the wartime pressures they faced.

Use the tabs below to access all 30 news pieces produced by our fellows.

Mehedi Shahnewaz Jalil

Assistant Director, Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre

[Working on Deputation from Bangladesh Betar (Radio)]

Watch: Spread of Misinformation on ICT-based social media platform and its impact on Society: pt. 1 (Timestamp 17:36) (Bengali)

Watch: Spread of Misinformation on ICT-based social media platform and its impact on Society: pt. 2 (Timestamp 14:44) (Bengali)

Mohammad Moniruzzaman Khan

Producer (News) Grade 1, Bangladesh Television

Watch: The Right to Information Act, good governance and accountability: pt. 1 (Bengali)

Watch: The Right to Information Act, good governance and accountability: pt. 2

Muhammad Khorshed Alam

Executive Producer, Bangladesh TV

Watch: Security and advancement of women journalism in Bangladesh (Bengali)

Naznin Sultana

Deputy Controller (News), Directorate of Monitoring, Bangladesh Betar

Watch: Reporting on the Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh: pt. 1 (timestamp – 13:13) (Bengali)

Watch: Reporting on the Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh: pt. 2 (timestamp – 11:02) (Bengali)

Seoul Ahmed

Journalist, Broadcast Journalist Center

Read: The biggest obstacle to freedom of expression is the Digital Security Act (Bengali)

Tahsina Sadeque

Senior Reporter, DBC News

Watch: ‘Awami League has no strong opposition’ (Bengali)

Watch: ‘Internal turmoil of party is tarnishing team’s achievements’ (Bengali)

Ankita Anand

Independent Journalist/Editor, Unbias the News

Read: Press Freedom and the Indian Judiciary

Faisul Yaseen

News Editor, Greater Kashmir

Read: In Kashmir, journalists under shadow of gun, harassment and intimidation

Pallavi Sareen

Editor-in-Chief, The Straight Line

Read: 12 Civilians dead in Kashmir, peace and normalcy go missing?

Somrita Ghosh

Correspondent, The New Indian Express

Read: Conflict reporting in India: Worth risking lives without prior training?

Aashish Kumar Mishra

Valley Reporter, The Rising Nepal

Read: Journos Need To Be More Conflict Sensitive: Experts

Ashwini Sitaula

News Anchor & Reporter, News24 Television

Watch: Code of Conduct Questions (Nepali)

Hadish Khuddar

Correspondent, Naya Patrika Daily

Read: Armed groups in the Terai: some in agreement, some inactive (Nepali)

Kamala Gurung

Senior Correspondent, Swasthya Khabar Patrika

Read: The wound of the armed conflict that could not be healed (Nepali)

Lalit Bahadur Budha

Bureau Chief, Annapurna Post Daily

Read: Complaints stopped, no justice (Nepali)

Madhu Sudan Dawadi

Executive News Editor, Narayani Online

Read: In Chitwan, there is a need for policy and legal reforms in the civic problems of the intermediate zone (Nepali)

Narendra Kumar Dhakal

News Coordinator, Purwanchal Daily

Read: The wounds of the armed conflict have not yet healed (Nepali)

Phurpa Sherpa


Read: Challenges and problems faced by women journalists in Nepali media (Nepali)

Prabha Thapa

Program Coordinator and Presenter, Avenues Khabar TV

Watch: The pain of armed conflict: when will the wounds be healed? (Nepali)


Ramesh Dhamala

TV Journalist, Kantipur Television Network

Watch: The temptation to send Rohingyas to the United States as refugees has not stopped (Nepali)

Sanju Paudel Pandey

District Reporter, Kantipur Media Group

Read: Violence against Dalit women ends in reconciliation (Nepali)

Sunita Acharya

Nepal Reporter, Damauli Express weekly and Damauli

Read: Post-Conflict Situation: Problems in Guaranteeing Cultural Rights to Victims (Nepali)

Bekshi Dinitha Rathnayake

Journalist, Liberty Publishers Private Limited

Read: Office on Missing Persons comes under fire (page 3)

Keshayinie Edmund

Freelance Journalist/Documentary Producer, SFCG

Read: Diaspora Journalists and Democracy in Sri Lanka (Tamil)

Parameswaran Navaratnam

Provincial Correspondent, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd

Read: Doors remain shut for over 6000 families

Sandranathan Rubatheesan

Investigative Journalist, The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Read: Sri Lanka’s transitional justice mechanism: A lesson to be learned from Nepal (Tamil)

Veerarajan Priyatharshan

Assistant News Editor, Express News Papers Pvt Ltd.

Read: Hate speech as a weapon in Sri Lankan politics (Tamil)

Header Image: A press photojournalist is holding a camera with a zoom lens and is photographing war and conflict. Credit: chameleonseye/iStock