IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Fesmedia Africa's 2010 media barometer reveals that the journalism training at the University of Antananarivo does not include refresher programmes even though graduating students experience difficulties due to pedagogical shortcomings and gaps in the content of the initial training programmes. Furthermore, among the media professionals, the vast majority (more than 700) are trained on the job. One consequence of this is the plethora of articles based on sensationalism and a dull report of facts. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of a national pool of instructors from 6 public...

As a landlocked country with sometimes-inaccessible mountainous terrain, a scattered population and marked urban-rural inequalities, Bhutan would benefit significantly from community media. A UNESCO-commissioned feasibility study conducted in 2013 found a clear consensus among different stakeholders (including government officials) that commmunity radio (CR) would deepen and accelerate development in Bhutan. The report therefore asserted that a CR policy should be created. Other key recommendations included building the capacities of potential CR personnel, piloting three community radio...

The level of media development in Puntland, Somalia is low due to lack of resources and expertise as well as decades of war. Puntland State University (PSU) is committed to filling this gap and is ready to operationalize its Campus Radio Station. It has established a Media Training and Resource Centre, attained government permission for the radio station and, in 2011, equipment was procured by UNESCO. The station will cover community issues including, governance, rule of law, youth unemployment, environmental conservation, the plight of IDPs, piracy, FGM/C, terrorism and HIV/AIDS.

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In a climate of increasing authoritarianism and diminishing space for democratic debate, in which state-controlled media echoes official views and private-owned media self-censors and arouses anti-minority attitudes, Ravaya remains the only unbiased vernacular language newspaper available to the masses. This journalist-owned paper maintains an outstanding record of carrying out high-quality independent journalism, fighting for justice, welcoming peer scrutiny and being responsive to readers.
 
Ravaya, which currently circulates 25,000 copies per week, requires external support...

The impact of years of conflict is still evident in nearly every aspect of South Sudanese society. Although great efforts are underway to promote peace, security, reconstruction and development, these processes will be difficult without the establishment of a free media to create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence and to institutionalize a culture of democracy. In particular, serious issues exist concerning the safety of journalists and media professionals and the impunity of those committing such crimes. Despite a constitution that guarantees press freedom, many journalists have been...

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...

In this project, JIIM will target FM radio stations, TV stations, newspapers and online media operating in Juba, Bentiu, Torit, Kuacjok, Wau, Yambio, Awiel, Malakal, Bor and Rumbek in South Sudan. This project seeks to address the lack of cultural news programmes in existing media by training cultural reporters to source, produce and relay cultural news to the South Sudanese public. Twenty journalists will be trained in cultural reporting. Participants will learn to respect cultural diversity and abide by other cultural norms when reporting about South Sudanese cultures. The project will...

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...

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...

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