IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Drug trafficking has become one of the main causes of problems relating to security, violence, corruption and weakening of democracy in the countries of Latin America. Fear of reporting on the topic continues to spread among journalists however, with increasingly fewer reporters venturing to cover drug trafficking and organized crime issues because they fear for their lives.
 
This project therefore is aimed at providing journalists who cover drug trafficking and organized crime, working along Colombia’s border zones, with training on self-protection mechanisms, complemented by...

Application of the UNESCO Media Development Indicators (MDI) in Ecuador has revealed that media self-regulation mechanisms, such as using codes of ethics or editorial guidelines, are not fully practiced. The study also showed that only one print medium has a Public Ombudsman to receive readers’ complaints, and in the entire country there are no Press Councils or Commissions for complaints that might ensure good journalism practices in day-to-day work. In turn, citizens’ perception of the media is not positive: 51.74% consider the media corrupt. Media self-regulation must therefore be...

As a society it is essential to recognize and contribute towards the respect of indigenous peoples’ human rights. The universal values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, respect for others, and respect for cultures and languages, are essential in the safeguarding of respectful relations between human beings, communities and societies, and in order to address this issue it is important to first look at the sociocultural diversity of a country.
 
This project will focus on alternative methods of communication, to enable participants to develop...

The media environment in Egypt was characterised by severe repression under the former ruling president, Hosni Mubarak. In terms of press freedom for example, Egypt was ranked 130th out of 196 countries globally by Freedom House in their Freedom of the Press 2010 Report. Despite the fall of the regime following the January 25th uprising, a lack of freedom of expression remains in force today. Traditional media as well as citizen journalism have played an important role in setting the stage for change in the country. In the upcoming period, and in the context of the transition towards...

This project aims to address some of the objectives of the UN draft Plan of Action arising from the UN Inter-Agency meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, particularly the dissemination of a best practices guide on the safety of journalists as well as the training of journalists. By working with expert contacts in the safety field and drawing on its own experience, the International News Safety Institute (INSI) aims to reach at least 2,000 journalists and media workers, in addition to governments and military across the world, with this comprehensive reference...

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...

A recent study conducted by the civil-society media observation group 'Fundamedios' revealed that journalism in Ecuador is practiced in a hostile environment, with frequent risk of physical aggression, destruction of equipment, and prosecution for cases of defamation, all of which contributes to an overall lack of freedom of expression and poor access to information. For this reason, it is necessary for journalists to learn how to defend and enforce their rights within the national legal framework, and to be made aware of the international mechanisms which protect and promote human rights...

Research conducted by the University of Chile has revealed that the country has both direct and indirect restrictions on freedom of expression, and that it lacks a national monitoring system to evaluate these issues. This project will address this problem by providing training to 130 Chilean media professionals (including journalists, academics and students) on the monitoring and follow-up of issues relating to freedom of expression and the application of laws on access to information. This capacity building effort will help to create a network for cooperation among stakeholders which will...

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...

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...

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