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Penn’s Annenberg School to assist in developing news media infrastructure in Afghanistan

          PHILADELPHIA (February 22, 2011) – The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication is involved with an effort to build a more robust media system in war-torn Afghanistan.
          The School’s Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) is helping to shape and execute a large scale United States Agency for International Development (USAID) effort to foster independent radio, create a supporting legal culture that can sustain a freer communications environment, and analyze what media approaches are most effective in sustaining democratic values.   
          Annenberg’s CGCS will put people on the ground in Kabul beginning this month to begin training programs on regulatory, technical, and licensing legal issues.  “We’ve assembled a distinguished team to design curricula and work with advocates, media management and regulators,” said Monroe E. Price, Director of CGCS. “This is an investment in the talent key to the operation of media in the future.”  The Center will create an online social network of professionals who can share experiences and build professionalism.  CGCS is also forming partnerships with Afghan universities, which will culminate in a moot court legal competition for participating teams in September of this year.
          This effort in Afghanistan is similar to a four-year media strengthening program CGCS ran in Jordan from 2007 – 2011. 
          The School is serving as a subcontractor for the Afghan-operated news organization Nai and Internews, an international media development organization that works to build an open and free press worldwide.
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