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KAT News TV: Helping India's Karbi People Recover from the Pandemic

In the heart of Karbi Anglong in the state of Assam, northeast India, nestled amidst emerald hills and vibrant Indigenous communities, thrives KAT News TV, a beacon of hope and information. More than just a media outlet, this dedicated channel has become a lifeline for the region, playing a crucial role in the aftermath of the pandemic.

With financial support from Cultural Survival's Indigenous Community Media Fund, KAT News TV, a channel started in 2016 for the Karbi people in India, began filming how the Karbi people were recovering from the pandemic.

KAT News TV brought together Indigenous youth from the Dimasa, Khasi, and Karbi Indigenous communities to work together. They created 20 TV shows that were broadcast on cable TV. This collaboration wasn't just about making TV shows; it also helped to bring the different Indigenous groups closer together, which was especially important during a difficult time.

KAT News TV was more than just a news channel; it was a beacon of hope for the Karbi community during the pandemic. People trusted KAT News TV for accurate information about the pandemic, and the channel's entertainment programming helped to boost morale and celebrate local achievements.

The team making the documentary faced many challenges, such as not having enough electricity or a good internet connection. However, they were determined to keep going because they wanted to document the experiences of their community. Borsinot Phangcho, who is one of the people making the documentary, said that it is important to make a documentary about how to protect their culture from outside influences. He said that this would help their community be more proactive and vigilant.

In addition to broadcasting news, KAT News TV also helped train people in their community to be better communicators. This training not only taught them how to produce content but also how to communicate more effectively. The project was a training ground for them, where they learned valuable skills in media production and storytelling. These skills helped them to give their community a stronger voice.


The project wasn't just about helping the Karbi people recover from the pandemic. It also helped to revive their Traditional Knowledge and ways of life. They made public announcements in different Indigenous languages so that everyone would have access to important information. The project also brought together the Karbi people with other Indigenous groups, such as the Dimasa and Khasi, and helped to strengthen relationships between these communities.

The funding was also used to document the culture and language of the Karbi Indigenous Peoples after the pandemic. This helped to keep their language alive and make it more relevant to the modern world. They translated words about health, education, the environment, and medicine into Karbi so that people could talk about these things in their language.

The Karbi people in Assam faced many challenges after the pandemic, and KAT News TV helped them by making videos about their culture and how they were coping with the pandemic. These videos helped people learn from each other and feel more hopeful about the future. The Karbi people were able to adapt to the changes and become even stronger. KAT News TV is a good example of how the media can help people in their communities.

In 2022, KAT News TV received a grant from Cultural Survival’s Indigenous Community Media Fund, which provides opportunities for international Indigenous radio stations to strengthen their infrastructure and broadcast systems and creates training opportunities for journalism, broadcasting, audio editing, technical skills, and more for radio journalists from Indigenous communities around the world. In 2023, the Indigenous Community Media Fund distributed $420,000 in grants supporting 60 Indigenous communication projects that will benefit 87 Indigenous Peoples in 20 countries.