IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

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, Office for Mexico and Central America documented 207 aggressions against journalists, press workers and media organisations. This number represents 20.34% on top of what was registered the previous year.
 
The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of impunity underlines the importance of the Judiciary on the protection and promotion of press freedom as well as on the fight against impunity.
 
Improving the understanding of the UN and Inter-...

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...

In Paraguay, mass media is concentrated in the hands of 7 business groups. This represents an obstacle for the true achievement of the right to freedom of the press and the right to freely disseminate ideas and opinions, as stated in the National Constitution. Paraguay has five national daily newspapers and another published five days a week; several commercial and community radio station, 1 public radio; 6 private TV channels, and 2 public TV channels. Information is increasingly being disseminated through social networks and on online newspapers. These alternative means, however, don’t...

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...

In recent years, Uruguay has experienced a significant advance in updating its laws regarding international standards of freedom of expression. It is currently in the midst of a process of legislative debate regarding a bill on audiovisual media services. If passed, the law could be a major achievement for the democratization of the media system in the country. 
 
Chapter VIII of the bill refers to the "Ethical self-regulation" of the media. Article 138 states an obligation for the media to adopt self-regulatory mechanisms: "The holders of audiovisual media services should...

With ongoing politico-military upheavals in CAR, forms of violence against women have increased in number and gravity. Moreover, most women experience scenes of violence within their own homes. Such violence makes women and young girls vulnerable and suppresses any desire or capacity to seek emancipation and financial independence. This project proposes to raise public awareness in CAR of violence against women by reinforcing the investigation methods of female journalists.

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