Moving forward with the Principles for Effective Media Development

Depending on buy-in and support for this process from key stakeholders, a potential timeline and key milestones for developing media support principles and recommendations would involve further consultations, including the discussion at a meeting at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Conference in Uruguay (May 2-5, 2022).

Additional consultations will also take place. The valuable insights gathered through previous meetings are invaluable to CIMA and GFMD in their effort to articulate a new set of principles, ones in line that are specific, actionable, and in line with the current situation. Modalities for effective implementation will also be researched, taken into account, and presented through various mechanisms.

The collaboration that this project requires, however, was stressed throughout the meeting, and stakeholders are invited to participate and contribute to the redefining of Principles for Effective Media Development.

“It’s not just aid that is going to solve the media crisis in the media system, but diplomatic efforts, norm-setting, regulatory approaches, and it’s a rare opportunity to have in one big tent, folks who represent all of those efforts to try and align our interests in sustaining a plural and independent media sphere.” - Media Development Research Organisation Representative

See more about the next steps here.

Participants also shared their advice and suggestions.

“I hope the principles will do two things. One is to make donors better at helping media support, do its job in terms of helping media organisations survive and thrive and to achieve their own goals. And secondly, make the case internationally for media assistance. Not everyone in the donor community agrees that it's important to support the media, we need to make the case for it. The best way of doing this, in my view, is to come together behind the vision of what we'd like media assistance to be.” -Donor Representative

Donors also suggested that the principles do not necessarily need to outline in great detail what media support organisations need to do and, instead, should focus more on how donors can empower media development organisations.

“Many donors see some kind of common shared principles or ideas that, to work together, is an important way to improve the way they work and to make a case for a more robust effort in the area of media development at a really critical time.” - Media Policy Consultant.

Governments, as indicated by several participants, should be taken into account when developing these guidelines because they are the duty-bearers in relation to the right-holders.

It was suggested that the process needs to be inclusive of various actors and create platforms for dialogue.

“The overall goal is to really create and enlarge this understanding among donors, and mostly also to create the dialogue platforms for dialogue between the development actors and the media actors.” -Donor Representative

Finally, while it is important to engage with media outlets in the process of drafting these new principles, there must be a prioritisation of including the realities of journalists and implementing partners, donors, and funders. It is these groups that most need the support, as despite having the desire to improve, often lack the capacity or competency to do so.

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