Regions: Latin America and the Caribbean

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...

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...

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...

At present, no project exists in Panama whereby young people are given the means to project their views to a national audience. This project from The State System for Radio and Television (SERTV) and its affiliate CRISOL FM aims to remedy this situation by training young people in high-risk communities of Panama and involving them in the production of programmes about positive change in their communities which will then be aired on two national radio stations. The project is entitled We Are An Invincible Youth and will target 45 school students in the districts of Arraijan, Chorrera and...

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...

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...

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...

Since the year 2000, IPYS has been working systematically with regional and local media, and journalists of the Andean sub-region. It has proven that most of them have very few financial, technical and professional resources and that this negatively affects the quality of their production. The public, on the other hand, is far from being familiar with fundamental issues such as the design of public policies, as well as matters of finance, health, education and environment. The consequences of such a situation are clear: democratic participation is hindered on matters ranging from electing...

In Colombia, investigative journalism faces many obstacles, such as violence in small cities, routine danger and threats to journalists, economically entrenched interests of communication media, the control of some politicians over journalists and media outlets, and the lack of knowledge about technologies and investigative techniques by journalists. Despite these difficulties, many journalists in Bogotá and Colombian regions have produced great investigative works on diverse topics such as political, environmental and social matters. However, very few journalists use information and...

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