International Development Cooperation: Media and Communication

Through its Media and Communication Department, the Foundation works in many countries toward:

breaking up state and commercial monopolies in communication and extreme concentrations in the international media system;
eliminating internal and external obstacles to a more balanced circulation of information and ideas;
promoting freedom of information and of journalists;
ensuring the plurality of media systems, news sources, and news channels;
upgrading the infrastructure of the media in developing countries;
improving media professionalization and training;
fostering pluralism in the media through consultancy work with policy-makers at a national level;
realising the right to cultural identity;
using the media as an important actor in reform and development.

Project activities

As the Third World, apart from national events, is rarely covered by its own television networks, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the world's broadcasting unions put in place systems for exchanging television news, modelled after the Eurovision example. Today four systems which the Foundation helped setting up are in operation: Asiavision, Arabvision, Afro-Vision and Caribvision. Latinvision, the news exchange for Latin America, is in preparation.

In Asia the Foundation has been cooperating for more than 20 years with the Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Centre (AMIC) in Singapore in the areas of documentation, research, training and publications on all types of media matters.

In the South Seas the Foundation cooperates with the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PIBA). Radio is the only mass medium which reaches all the islands there. The Foundation's training activities gave rise to PACNEWS, a radio news exchange linking the entire Pacific region.

In Africa the foundation supports three subregional media projects: Western Africa, based in Accra, Ghana; Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya; Southern Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Foundation cooperates in these projects with a large number of partners in training and consultancy.

In Eastern Europe there is a similarly structured project initially conceived for Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary but now also addressing additional formerly communist states.

Many successful projects have been handed over to our partners. They are now in full charge. But contact with them continues. Occasionally and on a limited scale joint "post-project support" activities take place. They address project types now operating in Africa and Asia. Included in the "post-project support" one finds renowned institutions such as the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra/Ghana, and Sri Lanka Television Training Institute (SLTTI) in Colombo.

Other media activities of the Foundation are international and regional specialized conferences at the highest level; Support for the Third World news agency, Inter Press Service (IPS) in operating a German-language service; publication of the "communication manual" series with more than 40 titles so far; follow-up contacts with former participants in Foundation programmes.

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©Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | net edition jv&mv&ola | August 1997