IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

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...

Liberia experienced a civil war which spanned fourteen years. Peace was brokered in 2003 and in 2005 an elected Government was installed. Since then a proliferation of print and electronic media institutions have developed in the capital Monrovia and other parts of the Country. Currently, there are more than thirty FM radio stations in Monrovia and about forty community radio stations strewn all over Liberia. There are five television stations and over twenty-five newspapers. The national broadcaster, Liberia Broadcasting System, which transmitted radio and television programs nationally...

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,...

In 52 years of post-independence Nigeria, the military establishment has ruled for 29 years while civilians have ruled for 23 years out of which only last 13 years were uninterrupted by military coup detat. The long rule of the military has affected the psyche of Nigerian rulers, even the civilians, who see closure of media houses, threat of withdrawal of broadcast licences, arrest of journalists and general impunity against the press as instrument of governance.

The above chronicle of events gives credence to the fact that the safety of journalists in Nigeria is not safeguarded...

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...

Journalists and media practitioners in Southern Africa face relatively similar regulatory and legislative challenges, exposing them to a wide range of risks in their line of duty. Among the regulatory and legislative challenges are repressive media laws, restrictive policies, and arbitrary arrests of journalists and denial of access to information, among others. For example, while in Zimbabwe journalists are subjected to a rigorous registration process and are denied access to information considered privy to the state through the Access to Information Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),...

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...

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