Improvements that would benefit the principles process

Ensuring media have a seat at the table

Participants spoke of integrating improvements and important lessons into the principles and their production, such as ensuring diversity in media development, including all stakeholders in the consultative process, focusing on the involvement of media organisations and making sure they have a seat at the table in discussions on media development.

A regional media support organisation representative strongly emphasised the need to involve media organisations in the consultative process, make sure they are interested in problem definition and in searching for solutions and have a seat at the table. They pointed out that the process is led by civil society and provided examples where the safety of journalists network was successfully established when media were involved.

"…because media was not part of it, and media does not feel that the solutions that we have provided are key today, are vital for them. And so this is a problem, and this is a challenge: how to get media involved." Regional media support organisation representative

Gaps in media development support

Participants spoke about the importance of addressing the inequality:

  • Inequality in access to information

  • Inequality where large populations still have no access to Internet

  • Inequality created by language barriers, as the sector is biased towards English speech

  • Inequality in financial power and economic viability

In addition to considering the legal sidet, we must also include the economic side when addressing enabling environments. As the economic infrastructure that guides the information society is globalised and monopolised, with growing economic dependencies, we must account for all factors to build a pluralistic media platform where different audience groups are served.

The audience should also not be viewed only as a mass audience, but in the context of trust, especially among underserved audiences.

“If the media is shrinking, and if trainees are losing their jobs en masse, you’re wasting your time. You have to include viability in the equation, and you have to include it to lead to national policy changes.” - Intergovernmental organisation representative

Participants urged donors to consider how their funding should help leverage the limiting of inequalities within the sector.

A regional media development organisation representative pointed out that often there are areas where support is very much needed such as support for advocacy for freedom of information and access to information; however, donors are not providing support for these areas.

Another regional media development organisation representative addressed the issue of a lack of contextualisation, where donors often lump regions together (e.g. Latin America and the Caribbean) despite their different geographical, historical and cultural aspects ( different colonial experience, culture, size of economies and populations, etc).

Another practitioner also noted that the sector often has a single-issue approach, without understanding the full picture as the sector is often not close enough to understand the details of what actually constitutes key strategic priorities.

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