Regions: Latin America and the Caribbean

In recent years, Brazil has made major steps in promoting freedom of information in an effort to eliminate corruption. This was illustrated by the creation of a freedom of information law and also by the approval of a transparency law last year, which requires the publishing of all financial operations on a municipal, state and federal level. Encouraging civil society participation on the surveillance of public expenditures is crucial in avoiding corruption, and the press has the potential to occupy a major role in this endeavour, but only when journalists are capable of correctly...

Community media in Haiti is forced to contend with lack of funding, lack of equipment, and lack of training. In recent years, great progress has been made by the SAKS Foundation in tackling these issues in the creation of community radio stations and Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs). These provide an essential means for local community members to exercise freedom of expression, learn remotely, and develop opportunities for research, multicultural activity and communication. The devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake severely impinged these development attempts, but this project aims...

According to 2010 reports, Cuba produces more than 790 specialized periodical publications on specific topics, with over a quarter existing in digital or electronic form. In spite of the relatively low internet access rate among the Cuban population (14.2% in 2009), these electronic publications are also diffused through external drives and devices such as cell phones and flash drives, therefore providing a vital means of increasing public knowledge on such resources and improving access to the circulating information. The focus of this project is on developing the media of the Jaimanitas...

Dominated by private operators and international channels, El Salvador's media dedicates most of its air time and press coverage to income-generating programmes and topics, with a severe neglect for issues which are of relevance to local and marginalized communities such as human rights, environmental matters and gender equality. The strengthening of Salvadoran community media is therefore vital in order to promote freedom of expression, democracy and social inclusion. The Izcanal Foundation attempts to respond to these needs by providing community radio and television broadcasts to three...

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...

The media's handling of gender issues has an enormous effect on people's understanding and support of gender equality. It is therefore of paramount importance to equip media professionals with adequate knowledge and skills to address gender issues in all communication processes, and to report news in an objective and gender-sensitive manner. This project aims to provide training on such issues to journalists and media professionals from the Dominican Republic in order to promote a genuine and faire image of Dominican women by increasing gender perspectives in the media and strengthening...

Despite the large numbers of media houses and people employed in Grenada's media relative to the country's size, the absence of a tertiary-level media training institution means that many of its journalists are unqualified. This, combined with the low salaries offered to journalists, presents cause for major concern amongst members of the Media Association of Grenada (MWAG), as the profession offers unappealing prospects to school and college graduates. MWAG is responding to this concern by providing training in print and broadcast journalism to media practitioners in Grenada, with a view...

Violence against women in Mexico is widespread and often goes unpunished. In recent years there have been several cases of threats and attacks on media workers who have dared to report on such matters, making it highly challenging for communication media to exercise their fundamental right to freedom of expression. Community radios have the proven potential to give a voice to vulnerable and marginalized groups such as women and indigenous people, however at present, the majority of community radio staff in Mexico lack professional journalist training and expertise in human rights. This...

The media have a fundamental role to play in building peace, intercultural dialogue and diversity. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles preventing the media from realizing this potential of facilitating mutual knowledge and understanding among neighbouring peoples. One central factor is that a majority of media in the region are linked to entrenched political and economic interests, and thus very rarely report on the interests and viewpoints of marginalized groups. There is a serious deficit in terms of plurality and diversity in international media content that negatively affects...

Thanks to its position and experience, Radio Nacional del Paraguay (RNP) is best suited to train community radio broadcasters on a regular basis. However, RNP's technical equipment is not sufficient to offer quality training courses. For this reason the training purposes require the purchase of additional studio equipment. In its operational planning objectives RNP declared to contribute to the improvement and democratic distribution of information and consequently joined forces with Asociación para la Educación y Comunicación Radiofónica (the association of broadcast education and...

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