Knowledge for Progress

Earned Media for Tobacco Control

As part of combating tobacco epidemic, the initiative tries to bring a positive change in the Bangladeshi media for greater appreciation and attentions on tobacco control issues through enhance the capacity of journalists since 2009. In recent years, earned media on tobacco control has noticeably increased. One of the contributors to this enhanced earned media has been the capacity building efforts undertaken over the last 4 and half years initially by PROGGA-PIB (Press Institute of Bangladesh) and later PROGGA-ATMA (Anti-tobacco Media Alliance) with support from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). The first phase of the project titled ‘Earned Media for Tobacco Control in Bangladesh through Enhanced Capacity of Journalists’ was implemented over 18 months starting from November 2009. A total of 309 journalists of print, broadcast, and electronic media were trained on tobacco control issues in this phase covering both national and regional level media. Later, the trained journalists were formed a network “Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA)” in February, 2011. The pool of media resources was mobilized and further trained in the second and third phases, with a special focus to watch and counter Tobacco Industry ill tactics to undermine tobacco control.

The current phase of the project will mainly focus on effective utilization of earned media to support implementation of amended tobacco control law. It will also continue media advocacy on the road to finalization of TC Rules, and on other important tobacco control policies including tobacco taxation and regulating tobacco cultivation. More importantly, the current phase of the project will work to promote, and protect tobacco control policies and its implementation from the vested interests of the tobacco industry by exposing and discrediting its tactics, and interference at both policy and grassroots level. This phase will be implemented over the 14 months starting from June 2014.

Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA)

One of the most remarkable achievements of the earned media initiatives was the formation of the Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA), which now includes more than 300 trained journalists as members. With the interests and enthusiasm observed so far among the ATMA members, it can be expected that this forum is going to be a valuable resource for the tobacco control movement of the country. More about ATMA

Workshop with Trained journalists

The training of the journalists was comprehensive and covered most of the tobacco control issues in the first phase; in the second phase, 120 ATMA members trained further specifically on two national advocacy priorities e.g. law amendment and tax issues through one-day workshops covering national level media and continue the capacity building in the current phase.

Field visits with Journalists

Journalists are often feel that some sorts of exposure to field realities of tobacco are required for them to have more in-depth understanding on the tobacco control issues.

Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Countering (TIMC)

PROGGA regularly monitors and counters tobacco industry interferences on policy making through media by setting up effective mechanisms. It also shares the industry monitoring results regularly, with the tobacco control groups, to be used for countering industry tactics. Earlier, PROGGA trained around 50 ATMA members (journalists) on ‘Tobacco Industry Accountability’ who are the key players in TIMC. Besides, it produced a documentary on ‘Tobacco Industry Interference’ to sketch interference forms clearer to the policymakers and other stakeholders in Bangladeshi context.

Tobacco Control Journalism Award

Every year, ‘PROGGA Tobacco Control Journalism Award’ has been distributed in five categories (e.g. Bangla Newspaper/Online, English Newspaper/Online, Regional Newspaper, TV and Radio) for the best report. It is mentionable that PROGGA has introduced the award for the first time in Bangladesh since 2011.

Periodical ‘Tamaker Khabor’

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The periodical is a compilation of selected published/aired media pieces of ATMA members. Along with the compilation, the periodicals also have analysis of the trends and issues of tobacco control coverage generated in the particular quarter. The media pieces were selected by an editorial group consisted of nine ATMA members.


Press Coverage



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