of Democracy by Creating and Sustaining Infrastructures for Journalism and
A modern democratic society is unthinkable without plurality of media
and independent journalism. Comprehensive and critical news reporting
by journalists constitutes an indispensable element of any democracy.
For the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung promotion of media and communication
is therefore an integral part of their development policy commitment,
aimed at establishing and strengthening democratic structures.
Activities in the areas of media and communication within the framework
of international development cooperation by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
are intended to create and sustain infrastructures which
The above-mentioned infrastructures comprise technical and organizational
facilities, the legal framework, a democratic political dialogue, the
ethical context, vocational training and further training, the economic
bases as well as international partnerships.
For its special activities in the fields of media and communication,
FES opened a project office in Geneva in May 1994 which is cooperating
closely with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other UN institutions, to provide assistance
to the broadcasting unions of the South and their members in the developing
countries. This is done primarily in the form of advice to and further
training of television journalists, especially in respect of an international
exchange of television news and programmes and related technical and organizational
matters. The director of the office is a television news editor and previously
worked in the media section of FES in Bonn.
Initially, the Geneva office followed up on FES cooperation with the
broadcasting union in the Arab countries (ASBU), after the FES staff had
left Algiers in 1993. In the context of cooperation with partners in the
ASBU region special mention must be made of the first advisory and training
measures in support of the newly established broadcasting service of the
new State of Palestine in autumn 1994.
By the end of 1994 FES also closed its project office at the broadcasting
union of the Carribean (CBU) in Barbados and left this successful project
in the hands of the partner organization. Thus CBU has been given all
the necessary professional and technical resources required for a daily
exchange of television news via satellite, for a regular exchange of programmes
and a joint production of cultural and informational programmes by the
Carribean broadcasting stations. For the coming three years, FES will
accompany further developments by providing relatively modest financial
Project cooperation with other broadcasting unions of the South, for
example URTNA in Africa and ABU in Asia, is to be continued through the
exchange of current-affairs programmes; in Latin America, FES together
with interested broadcasters is continuing its efforts to create comparable
The Geneva office of FES has also an important link-up function for
the transfer of know-how from the North to the South and for the exchange
of experience between the broadcasting unions of the South and their members.
©Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition mv&ola | August 1997