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IPDC project priority: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

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...

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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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...

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...

Mexico is one of the most challenging countries for journalists in Latin America. In 2012, ARTICLE 19 (an NGO) documented 207 aggressions against press workers and media organisations, a 20% increase on the previous year. This project aims to help reduce the number of media workers attacked for carrying out their work in Mexico by: a) improving their understanding of the right to freedom of expression; and b) bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

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...

This project aims to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through print media and television. It will provide training to individuals from the press, radio, television, journalists’ associations and universities in order to encourage these organizations to adopt practices and policies that focus on gender equality.

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.

This project seeks to foster a framework for media self-regulation in Uruguay by strengthening the implementation of the Code of Ethics recently approved by the Association of Uruguayan journalists. It will do so by: a) promoting awareness of the Code among media and journalism students so that as many media organizations as possible adopt it voluntarily, thereby strengthening its enforceability; and b) setting a date for the first periodic review, thereby ensuring maximum participation in a national debate on media self-regulation.

While the DRC has begun to enjoy media pluralism, instances of abuse are frequent due to the lack of neutrality and objectivity in the media. This project will therefore provide Congolese media professionals with training concerning peace journalism in order to promote their awareness of their role in the ongoing peace and reconciliation process, to strengthen their capacity and understanding with regard to conflict-related issues. and to acquaint them with the standards and principles upon which peace journalism is based.

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