IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

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...

Access to information is of paramount importance in enabling economic, political and social development of Central Asian countries in their fight against corruption. In recent years, developments have been made in this area, with the passing of laws on Access to Information in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan occurring in 2006 and 2008 respectively, and discussions for a law on Access to Public Information in Kazakhstan being initiated in 2010. In spite of this progress however, Central Asian mass media continue to encounter problems in accessing information, with the 'Adil Soz' Foundation...

In spite of India's strong constitution and judicial rulings in favour of press freedom, journalists in insurgency-affected parts of the country are often intimidated into silence by the special measures put in place by local administrations in these areas. They are frequently deterred from reporting on common issues of governance and unsure of the permissible limits of free reporting thus resulting in an inability to reflect a wide range of opinions and perceptions in their work. This project aims to address the situation by providing training workshops to 60 journalists from insurgency-...

Media in Egypt occupy a highly influential position within the Arab world, and on a superficial level Egyptian journalists enjoy the right to exercise press freedom, as guaranteed within its Constitution. The reality under the governance of Hosni Mubarak however, saw the press regularly subject to restrictive laws which violated international press freedom standards. In Tunisia too, both the print press and broadcasting media were under tight government control, with President Ben Ali's authorities controlling access to news sources and ensuring online censorship. The recent popular...

Belarusian internet provides a platform for relative freedom of expression when compared to other media outlets within the country which are characterized by a state monopoly. This, combined with the soaring numbers of internet users (almost 30% of the population in 2010 thanks to the development of faster and better quality online technologies), makes internet television a prime opportunity for increasing the plurality of media in Belarus. At present, no Belarusian website has engaged users to create video content or share videos online. This project from the BelaPAN Information Company...

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