IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

In Tunisia, both the print press and broadcasting were tightly controlled by public authorities. The mainstream press toed the party line and authorities regularly blocked access to alternate news sources. In the wake of the January 2011 popular revolt, many journalists have been able to enjoy new-found freedoms. The new government will now be faced with the difficult task of ensuring a smooth democratic transition, involving: 1) Creating a favourable environment for the media to fulfil their democratic potential will be essential in this process. 2) Putting in place new media laws. These...

Liberian media has grown in terms of numbers, but is left wanting in terms of quality. There are more than thirty daily, weekly, bi-weekly and other sporadically-produced publications on the newsstands; twenty radio stations, six television stations and over fifty community radio stations across the country. This development points to media pluralism, but the problem associated with this growth lies with professional standards and capacities of those who man these institutions to enable them to respond to the needs of the public. There are at least three universities in the country...

2012 is an election year in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Given the deep scars of the past, peace is fragile and the electoral period could see a relapse into violence if, inter alia, the people feel disenfranchised in any way. Access to credible and objective information is crucial. The country’s fledgling democracy still lacks the maturity to handle political tolerance there is therefore the need for a sustained media campaign. The media landscape is generally free as there is no blatant government interference, however a number of the media outlets, particularly the print media, are...

The number of journalists killed in Africa in the line of their duty, deliberately, in crossfire, and combat related circumstances has been increasing year in year out. According to the International News Safety Institute, some 199 journalists and media workers were killed in Africa between 1990 and 2006. In 2009 more journalists and associated media workers were killed than during the years before. Other journalists were attacked, arrested, injured, kidnapped or detained. These deadly attacks have brought to light that media houses in Africa do not have adequate policies and resources to...

The media in Botswana has over the years been relatively free, owing to adherence to democratic principles and the freedom of expression which is enshrined in its constitution. The thriving economy and democratic credentials of the country ave made the outside world oblivious of recent events that are regressive and are threatening the image of the country as a shining example of democracy. This has led to most donors seeing no need to assist civil society organizations in the country in facing these disturbing developments.
 
The media fraternity is however dominated by state...

Ever since the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) took over the leadership of the Southern Africa Journalists Association (SAJA) at the launch in Johannesburg in 2006, gender equality within the media has been a priority. The focus of the Union has been, among other issues, the reduction of sexual harassment cases, enhancement of the status of women journalists, promotion of active participation of women member journalists in union affairs, equal and fair remuneration of journalists, and the safety of journalists, especially female.
 
Although through ZUJ’s leadership, SAJA...

The Gabonese media landscape comprises a multiplicity of media organs and publications. Where the media is concerned, the National Communications Council is the main regulatory body. On the other hand, the process of self-regulation has yet to be firmly established. A self-regulatory body - the Gabonese Media Observatory - has existed since 2004, but its work has been limited due to a lack of self-regulation instruments which meet with the general approval of media professionals.
 
In 1995, following the liberalisation of the media landscape, a group of Gabonese journalists...

Since the end of 1994 genocide in which “hate” media played a major role both before and during the events, and following the liberalization of the airwaves in the late 2000s, Rwanda’s media landscape has seen tremendous change in terms of the number of media houses and the quality of the programmes. From overreliance on a single state owned media and a few government-controlled print media, the nation today boasts over 20 FM stations and one public TV channel, as well as over 40 newspapers, thanks to new laws on press issues, in particular law N°22/2009 of 12/08/2009 on Media. The...

There are some 48 publications in circulation in Uganda, according to the official Media Council website, and 8 TV stations regularly on air with many more registered. Most of these stations are urban-based. The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (radio and TV), government owned and controlled, struggles to operate as a public broadcaster, covering only 3/4 of the country. Community radio is weak and faces serious financial and human resource challenges. There are also barely any operational community newspapers or television stations.
 
While the growth in the broadcast sector...

This project is aimed at Capacity Building within leading broadcasting organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing particularly on correcting serious gender imbalances and inequities in employment opportunities, female participation and media portrayal of women and girls in the region. The project is in line with The Beijing Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace, which places specific obligations on the media, both, in the way women participate and in how they are portrayed. Its overall aim is the achievement of the Beijing Declaration objectives, that require...

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