IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Khorixas, with an estimated population of 68,735 people, is one of the lest developed parts of Namibia. This town and the neighbouring villages receive no daily newspapers and only intermittent radio coverage from one state-owned station. Khorixas therefore lacks a community platform to discuss development and social issues in a pluralistic, accessible and democratic way and is isolated from regional, national and international affairs.
 
There have been recurring and unmitigated resource-based conflicts over the years between the region’s diverse communities. In addition, the...

While there is a large and varied media market in the Caribbean region, most outlets are regulated by the state and are subject to defamation laws. Regional, national and international media workers’ associations have been advocating the relaxation of the libel laws across the region in order to facilitate more robust scrutiny of public officials. This relaxation process requires individual media markets and a code of practice so that a public complaints body can be established. This project will establish/strengthen media self-regulatory systems in the Caribbean region by developing a...

Valley FM is a community-based radio that broadcasts from Worcester, Western Cape, where radio is the most accessible and cost-effective communication medium for the mostly farm-dwelling residents. As of 2013, the station had 121,000 listeners across 28 towns in a region where community issues are marginalized in media coverage by the national broadcaster. Valley FM broadcasts in three languages - Afrikaans (80%), isiXhosa (15%) and English (5%) – and covers local concerns that may not feature in national news, such as domestic violence and teenage pregnancy. The station also has a strong...

In 2006, the Forum for Argentine Journalism (FOPEA), a nationwide grouping of independent journalists, adopted the country’s first comprehensive ethics code. This is an important step given that journalists in Argentina face constant challenges to the delivery of balanced news reports. However, many FOPEA members have had difficulty understanding how to apply the code. FOPEA therefore proposes to produce a user’s guide and ethics advisory council, both of which will help journalists and media companies address ethical dilemmas. The code will encourage self-regulation, while the advisory...

On the surface, Swaziland appears to have all the necessary ingredients for media development. The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, the press and other media, while the Information and Media Policy requires the media to eradicate information poverty and reduce community isolation by providing a platform for social interaction and public participation. There is a voluntary regulatory body to protect citizens’ interests and media practitioners are represented by two professional associations and by the Swaziland Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa.
 
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Mexico is one of the most challenging countries for journalists in Latin America. In 2012, ARTICLE 19 (an NGO) documented 207 aggressions against press workers and media organisations, a 20% increase on the previous year. This project aims to help reduce the number of media workers attacked for carrying out their work in Mexico by: a) improving their understanding of the right to freedom of expression; and b) bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

Angola's socio-economic and political landscape is still recovering from the civil war that plagued the country for 27 years, immediately following its independence in 1975. After the end of the civil war in 2002 and the signing of the peace agreement, the country undertook a series of construction and re-housing programmes for the millions of people who had been displaced during the war. As such, despite a few pockets of resistance, the Angolan media operate in a country that is still undergoing reconstruction. To promote the development of a culture of peace through the disseminating of...

This project aims to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through print media and television. It will provide training to individuals from the press, radio, television, journalists’ associations and universities in order to encourage these organizations to adopt practices and policies that focus on gender equality.

Workplace gender discrimination in media houses and a general lack of respect for women’s human rights creates barriers for women entering the media industry. Women media workers face sexist attitudes, sexual harassment, pay inequalities, discrimination in assignments and promotions, inflexible work environments and a lack of support mechanisms. The consequent lack of women in the media is reflected in editorial content, which often either fails to cover many women’s stories or does so in an inadequate manner. This project thus seeks to empower female journalists through training, with a...

This project seeks to foster a framework for media self-regulation in Uruguay by strengthening the implementation of the Code of Ethics recently approved by the Association of Uruguayan journalists. It will do so by: a) promoting awareness of the Code among media and journalism students so that as many media organizations as possible adopt it voluntarily, thereby strengthening its enforceability; and b) setting a date for the first periodic review, thereby ensuring maximum participation in a national debate on media self-regulation.

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