IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Ninety-four journalists were killed in Pakistan over the last decade, yet just one of the killers has been arrested, tried and convicted. Many more journalists have received threats, including from the country’s intelligence agencies. Due to this alarming situation, Pakistan was identified as a focus country for the UN’s Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in 2013-2014.

   
This project therefore aims to increase the safety of Pakistani journalists working in hostile environments. A safety mechanism will be developed, including a rapid...

Nearly 9 in 10 female Ugandans live in rural areas and rely on community media for information. However, only about one in 10 of the country’s community media reporters, producers and anchors are women. In order to address this gender imbalance, this project will raise awareness about gender issues and encourage women to actively participate in their communities, particularly as media professionals and leaders. The activities shall be implemented by the Community Media Network of Uganda (COMNETU). A series of 3-day workshops will be held on human rights and gender, community media and...

Pakistan is one of the deadliest countries for local journalists. In addition to facing various dangers when reporting, they are subject to constant digital security threats. Given that most journalists in Pakistan do not know how to protect themselves against cyber criminals, this project will develop a comprehensive manual for tjese journalists detailing Pakistan's existing (and missing) security laws and cyber policies. Based on this manual, digital security training will be offered to 150 journalists in Lahore and Islamabad as well as to journalism and mass communication students at...

Many girls and women in East Africa do not have equal opportunities to exercise their legally-recognised rights and face social exclusion, “honour” killings, female genital mutilation, trafficking, restricted mobility and early marriage. Broadcasting organisations, which play a central role in shaping public perceptions of gender, can either worsen the situation (by portraying stereotypical, sensational images of women) or ameliorate it (by providing balanced coverage that empowers women, while exposing acts of gender bias); in recent years, East African media have mostly been doing the...

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...

In 2013, the government of El Salvador established the Institute for Access to Public Information to sanction violations of the Access to Public Information Law. However, the general public - particularly rural citizens - lack awareness of the Institute and its mandate. The proposed project will therefore train community journalists in remote areas of El Salvador on how to educate the public on their rights and responsibilities regarding this Law.

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...

Nicaragua’s indigenous communities have little access to the media, meaning they do not have a platform from which to voice concerns on the besiegement and usurpation of their lands and hence to define their future. Furthermore, the national media fails to convey their aspirations to live on their territories in accordance with their customs, stereotyping them as delinquents and/or land thieves. Local access to a means of communication is therefore vital for the indigenous communities of Nicaragua. This project will facilitate the creation of indigenous media outlets by providing training...

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...

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