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Main Preconditions and Assumptions

The lack of human rights in China is an overt precondition to this action, exacerbated by the PRC’s control of the media and hence the Chinese public’s lack of awareness of, and inability to lobby the PRC about, the true situation in Tibet. HLT/TPI assumes that this situation will continue into the long-term, but it is hoped that by addressing news about the Tibet situation to the Chinese public at a grass-roots level, via its website, it will play a role in incentivising the Chinese public to support the Tibetan cause and lobby its government for change. Further more specific assumptions and preconditions are outlined below.

a) Tibetan Journalists in Exile in India

Precondition: At present, Tibetan journalists working in India have a lack of training and expertise, and Tibetan school students in India have little incentive to pursue journalism courses in higher education. However, there are no legal restraints on Tibetan journalists receiving training or aspiring journalists entering higher education.

Assumption: The capacity building of HLT/TPI staff and Tibetan journalists in India in general, and outreach and introductory journalism training for Tibetan school students in India will raise journalistic standards, increase the impact of TPI on its national and global audiences, and assist in the social, cultural and educational development of Tibetans living in exile, particularly in India, Bhutan and Nepal.

b) Resources

Precondition: HLT/TPI presently has neither the physical nor human resources to fully achieve its objectives.

Assumption: Such resources are available in India, and this project will improve the provision of HLT/TPI’s physical and human resources, so enabling HLT/TPI to become more professionally oriented in achieving its objectives.

c) Plurality in the Workforce

Precondition: At present, Tibetan women are underrepresented in the workforce of Tibetan journalists in India (see 1.5.3.5. above), and no Tibetan media organisations employ Indian journalists. However, there are no legal restraints on Tibetan women entering the workforce of Indian journalists working alongside Indian nationals working for Tibetan organisations.

Assumption: By implementing a pluralistic recruitment policy and working in Association with the Tibetan Women’s Association to implement a journalism education programme, HLT/TPI will address and improve this situation.

d) News outreach

Precondition: At present, there is a lack of consistency in news outreach by Tibetan media organisation in India to the Tibetan diaspora in India, Bhutan and Nepal, due to inconsistency in the availability of internet access and the lack of widely distributed print media.

Assumption: This situation will be improved by HLT/TPI’s production of a bi-monthly print journal, to be distributed to all Tibetan institutions and communities in India, Bhutan and Nepal.

e) Democratic Debate

Precondition: Anecdotal evidence from Tibetan journalists in Dharamsala suggests their work is compromised by the Tibetan public in exile’s reluctance to express opinions or engage in democratic debate on the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile’s policies and on issues affecting the Tibetan diaspora at a grass-roots level.

Assumption: This situation will be improved by HLT/TPI’s establishment of quarterly public forums in Dharamsala, where members of the Tibetan public will have the opportunity to engage in debate with public figures.

Risk Analysis

HLT/TPI is an established, registered media organisation, with a proven readership, which operates from within a stable democratic republic. At present, HLT/TPI’s operations face no significantly greater risks than a media agency operating within a Western democracy, and HLT/TPI does not anticipate that this will change over the next three years. However, RSF currently ranks India 105 out of 179 countries in terms of press freedom, and the Indian government does occasionally impose short-term restrictions on the freedom of movement of (usually international) journalists for security reasons, e.g. During His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in Novermber 2009. TPI’s response to such restrictions, if applied to Tibetan journalists, could only be to refer in the short-term to other news agencies until such restrictions were lifted.

A wider risk to TPI’s operations would be if changes in India’s political relationship with China resulted in India curtailing the activities of Tibetan NGOs. In such an event, TPI would be forced to consider working with pro-Tibetan NGOs from the West to publish from overseas. However, given India’s historical tolerance of the activities of the Tibetan media, TPI believes such a development is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future.

An analysis of more specific risks is presented at below.


Activity

Risk

Possible Contingency Plan

HLT/TPI staff recruitment

Failure of first recruitment process to result in employment of required staff.

i) Second round of recruitment process, ii) adjustments to renumeration offered, iii) international recruitment.

HLT/TPI daily operations

Communication difficulties between HLT/TPI staff; specifically Tibetans who do not speak Indian languages and Indian nationals who do not speak Tibetan.

i) Institution of English as the common language of operations; ii) provision of English-language training for staff as required.

Website operations

TPI’s website and its sister publications are periodically hacked and damaged.

Automatic back-up of website contents by server based in Europe.

All HLT/TPI operations

Financial unsustainability at end of project.

HLT/TPI full-time fundraising manager to commence actitivities from Month 7, and meeting designated fundraising targets [see 1.9.3.a) below].

All HLT/TPI operations

HLT/TPI operations detrimental to environment, especially in production of print journal.

i) Use of recycled/environmentally friendly materials where available; ii) implementation of environmentally friendly practices in the workplace.

Schools outreach programme

Lack of motivation of school students to participate in schools outreach and workshop programmes [see 1.6.4.1 and 1.6.4.2.].

HLT/TPI to collaborate with participating schools in developing or establishing awards programme (e.g. to include awarding of certificates of merit) to incentivise school students.

Schools outreach programme

Lack of cooperation from Tibetan schools in implementing schools outreach and workshop programmes [see 1.6.4.1 and 1.6.4.2.].

Incentivisation of schools through coverage of their participation in the TPI website and print journal.

Quarterly public forum

Lack of public interest in attending public forums.

i)Incentivisation to attend through inclusion of social/cultural element in event; ii) promotion of event by delivery of flyers by students participating in schools outreach programme to their parents.

Scholarship programme

Failure of scholarship students to make appropriate progress during their courses, or complete courses within required time frames.

i) Institute six-monthly interim reporting process with academic institutions; ii) negotiate with academic institutions to secure extensions for students.

Scholarship programme

Failure of scholarship students to take up posts at HLT/TPI upon graduation.

Minimise risk by requiring students to enter into legally binding contract with HLT upon awarding of scholarship.

Internship programme

Failure of promotion of internship programme to students by academic institutions, due to lack of direct contact between HLT/TPI and academic institutions.

HLT/TPI to visit selected academic institutions to encourage direct recruitment of internees and build long-term relationships with academic institutions.