IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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