IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

In order for journalism to foster sustainable development, media professionals require the right skills and equipment to develop communication strategies that serve their communities. However, capacity-building opportunities are often lacking. This project will therefore train community radio workers to implement communication strategies that promote sustainable community development and local participation. The training will draw upon UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators concerning professional capacity-building. The Model Curricula for Journalism Education: A Compendium of New Syllabi...

Community reporting has never been a priority in Lesotho. The media is based in the capital city of Maseru and rural voices are rarely heard. Rural communities only make the news in negative stories or when a government official comes to officiate a development initiative. Given the increase in social and political problems in rural Lesotho, it is becoming more and more critical for rural communities to have an alternative media platform where they can have their voices heard and can discuss their own issues and possible solutions.
 
Lesotho’s only community radio station,...

The safety of journalists is a serious problem in the Dominican Republic. This project therefore aims to train Dominican journalists to understand the legal framework in which they perform their duties, identify threats they may confront, learn risk reduction skills and develop safety initiatives, in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists. The training program will follow UNESCO’s Model Curricula for Journalism Education - A Compendium of New Syllabi (2013). Specifically, it will adapt the Safety and Journalism course, including the section on specific threats...

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...

None of Belize’s junior colleges or universities provide formal journalism training, despite a growing demand for journalists. Consequently, most of the country's journalists enter the profession with an education in a different field and may not possess the skills and competencies required to be competent journalists. The Organization for the Promotion of Youths in Journalism (OPYJ) is concerned about this situation and has been working with interest youths to help them secure scholarships to study journalism abroad. However, due to limited resources, it has only been able to secure such...

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...

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...

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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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...

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...

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