IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

It has been over three years since the Right to Information (RTI) Act was passed in Bangladesh, but no significant steps have been taken by the government to implement the Act, nor to raise awareness of it. Many journalists, both senior and junior, are not well aware of the RTI Act, in spite of its potential to play an important role in their professional duties (particularly filing follow-up, in-depth and investigative reports by using the RTI Act as a tool for information gathering.

In an attempt to address the issue, this project is aimed at raising local journalists' awareness...

Sri Lanka faces enormous challenges, not only in the areas of conflict resolution and national integration, but also in the face of the crisis of governance and challenges which need to be addressed to ensure Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law and participatory democracy. One of the major weaknesses in governance in Sri Lanka is the absence of transparency, under a strong culture of authority and secrecy rather than a culture of justification and transparency. When the 2004 draft bill on the subject was endorsed by both major parties, the general assumption was Sri Lanka would be among the...

Media in Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture where security and safety of media and media persons have become a serious question. On the one hand, the media landscape is expanding – with over 70 television channels and over 130 private FM radio stations in existence today, and over 17,000 working journalists. On the other hand, the safety and security of journalists have emerged as major issues during this period. More than 80 journalists have lost their lives during past ten years in the line of their duty. Intimidation, harassment, threats and arrests of journalists have...

In the Dominican Republic freedom of expression, press freedom and other related media issues are protected by different laws. There are many traditional and new media outlets for such a small country (and a Small Island Development State) but ownership of media is highly concentrated within a few privileged politic and economic powerful groups. This limits the diversity of media content and confines the views and topics covered by media to private interests. In 2010, the former Dominican President, Leonel Fernández, formed a national commission that prepared 5 law projects to reform or...

On May 16th 2012, Brazil saw its Freedom of Information Law come into force. The text, approved by the Brazilian Congress after intense advocacy by civil society (mainly Abraji and the Right of Access to Public Information Forum), is one of the most comprehensive of the world. It includes municipalities, states and federal government and involves Judiciary, Executive and Legislative aspects. According to the text, most information must be made public in the Internet in computer-friendly format. The text also details the few exceptions to the new general instruction of transparency. But in...

Colombia is a country that has had almost 60 years of internal armed conflict, as a result of inequalities, exclusion of broad strata of the population and weakness of the State. The country has been controlled by powerful groups (such as private corporations, national elites, wealthy families, etc.), which has resulted in widespread violence with many expressions and multiple stakeholders. This has negatively affected the economy and the country’s development, causing high rates of poverty and inequality. The nation spends heavily on security and defense, to the detriment of funding for...

In 2011 Guatemala descended 20 positions in the world classification of press freedom as developed by Reporters without Borders. In the period (2008-2011) a total of 8 journalists were reported assassinated, of whom none have had their case solved, with the number of violations against freedom of expression increasing to 179 cases of aggression.

Several reports point towards the fact, that many subjects such as organized crime, corruption, impunity and human rights violations are subjects that are not covered and present in the media. Journalists in Guatemala face violent attacks,...

A total of 24 journalists have been killed in Honduras in the past decade, 17 of them since the coup d’état. Murders of citizens who provided information to the media or defended human rights and media pluralism also go unpunished. In Honduras, women journalists and journalists who work to defend women’s human rights are particularly vulnerable and at risk. Women journalists receive vicious threats and direct attacks, as well as endure harder censorship because of wide-spread bias that women are more prone to cave in to intimidation.

In 2011, with the support of the United Nations...

Organized crime and corruption are the principal sources of direct violence that have brought about the killing of more than a hundred journalists in the past decade, mainly in Mexico and Honduras, the forced exile of hundreds of journalists; and the shutdown of dozens of media outlets. News media self-censorship has become institutionalized as "common practice." Recklessness and negligence in news coverage is due to the lack of training in basic investigative techniques, inadequate compensation for journalists by their employers; and absence of solidarity and camaraderie among journalists...

Avec la crise actuelle que traverse le Mali, plusieurs journalistes ont déjà été victimes de coups et blessures, très souvent par manque de professionnalisme dans les écrits et autres publications. Les causes endogènes se situent surtout au niveau du manque de formation de beaucoup de journalistes maliens et son corollaire d’ignorance des règles fondamentales de la profession d’une part, et la pauvreté accouplée d’une corruption facile des promoteurs, d’autre part. L’absence ou l’insuffisance de formation des journalistes de la presse privée écrite et audiovisuelle, est réelle. Cela s’...

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