It seems that the media development community is always fighting an uphill battle, writes Don Podesta, the Manager and Editor at the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance. It is difficult to demonstrate concrete results to donors in media support work, and it is also difficult to move media assistance higher on the overall development agenda. These two things are mutually reinforcing.
In an effort to improve this situation, CIMA, in collaboration with Deutsche Welle Akademie, is trying a new approach: a global series of regional consultations that bring together civil society and media watchdog NGOs, broadcast regulators, academics, media industry representatives, government officials, and others in the media and development sectors to help us diagnose the problems facing independent media.
Edison Lanza, special rapporteur for freedom of expression for the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and one of the conference’s chief organizers, tweeted: “A dream come true. All the actors in media, civil society, journalists and regulators…discussing #mediosplurales in the hemisphere.”
That may sound a bit over the top, but as someone who has lived and practiced journalism all over Latin America, I have to agree with that assessment, adds Podesta, a former assistant managing editor at the Washington Post.