Regions: Latin America and the Caribbean

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 plays a key role in any successfully functioning democracy by providing a platform for democratic discourse. Recently however, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) has become concerned that media outlets in the Caribbean are facing increased pressure from government and judiciary sources to alter the content being broadcast, thus presenting a threat to democracy. This project aims to address this issue by providing training to journalists and producers, and to broaden the coverage of election issues throughout the Caribbean in order to better equip the media in...

The public's perception of the role of television and radio in Saint Lucia is that they exist primarily for entertainment purposes as opposed to being an avenue to voice concerns and express views on issues that impact directly on daily lives in the community. Although 'call-in programmes' and 'talk shows' do exist, the subjects are almost always chosen by the producers and tend to be tailored to an urban audience. This project will develop a community radio station, entitled Harmony FM, to develop human and technical capacity within the community in order to allow the sharing of...

In Venezuela's political context, the defense of free, independent, plural and transparent media is of paramount importance. Recent studies into electoral coverage have revealed however, that journalism tends to be 'single-source' and lacking plurality, and thus far very little effort has been made to encourage citizen participation in the media. This project will contribute to the media's capacity to promote and strengthen democracy in Venezuela by emphasizing the importance of plural information sources, citizen participation, and transparency in editorial policy leading to increased...

Following the return to democracy in Uruguay, much progress has been made towards the diversification of information sources and development of community media, as well as in the introduction of legal regulation of the media system. There remains work to be done however, particularly in the use of media as a platform for democratic discourse and with regard to media access for certain sectors of society. In July 2010, the communication schools and faculties of all public and private universities in Uruguay began the process of designing and implementing the first national study on media...

Despite large numbers of women occupying positions in the Colombian media today, the gender divide is ever-present with female media professionals regularly subject to discrimination. At fault is a lack of interest concerning gender issues combined with a lack of organized training. For these reasons, the Colombian Federation of Journalists created FECOLPER Women's Network, an internet network created specifically for the exchange of information about gender and freedom of the press. This project aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of FECOLPER by applying UNESCO's Guidelines on...

Due to its potential to offer integrated reporting formats, Latin American news readers are increasingly turning towards the internet as the news outlet of choice. This has led to the emergence of new actors within the field of journalism, with rapid growth particularly in community news websites, citizen journalism and blogging. This project focuses on the teaching of basic multimedia reporting skills (photo and audio for the web) and storytelling, to journalists from Mexico and Central America, and to citizens with an interest in developing multimedia news content aimed at covering their...

The training of journalists has long since been a topic of debate in Haiti, with no state-run higher education institution offering a degree in the subject. The situation is particularly difficult for journalists in the communes of Saint-Marc and Mirebalais, two important towns in terms of size, location, and the number of established media outlets, since unlike their counterparts in neighboring parts of the country, they do not have access to a MINUSTAH Multimedia Centre to assist their work and exchange knowledge. This project from the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) will...

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...

In order to provide precise and truthful information that guarantees freedom of expression, the Púlsar Information Agency (newswire) of the World Association of Community Broadcasters ? AMARC ALC offers community and independent broadcasters a full scope of information from Latin America and the world on issues of interest to the civil society, considering the characteristics of radio language. It has 3,900 subscribers and receives more than 36,000 unique page visits a month to its website. In order to ensure a citizen and gender perspective, Púlsar favors alternative information agencies...

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