Strengthening Indigenous and Community Media

Project name :

Designing public policies to support Indigenous and Community Media in Mexico and incorporate indigenous content into public and commercial media

Project duration :

01-01-2020

Location :

Mexico

Background

As part of the initiative on Governance for Culture in Developing Countries, a call funded by the European Union, the EU Expert Facility and UNESCO was launched in December 2018 to support 12 countries in their efforts to create new regulatory frameworks for strengthening cultural and creative industries (CCIs) and promoting South-South cooperation. This call also aimed to assist developing countries that had ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), and it was within this framework that the EU/UNESCO Steering Committee approved a project put forward by the Mexican Presidency, namely “Designing public policies to support Indigenous and Community Media in Mexico and incorporate indigenous content into public and commercial media”. 

 

The project demonstrated the Mexican government’s commitment to implementing actions and programmes designed to strengthen the social role of the media and guarantee their diversity and the strengthening of Indigenous and Community Media in particular. This involves recognizing the importance of creating and coordinating mechanisms in order to guarantee the freedom to create, disseminate and distribute traditional cultural expressions, to be able to access them in order to exploit them for the sake of their development, and to include their content in public and commercial media that reflect the cultural diversity of the country.

The project focused on developing a research and analysis process for defining public policy recommendations designed to achieve the following:

1. Strengthening the Indigenous and Community Media sector with actions that contributed to the following:

a. Improving the conditions for its legal existence.

b. Generating mechanisms that helped make it more sustainable.

c. Instigating actions to promote the production of content in indigenous languages.

2. Creating a regulatory framework and enabling environment for the inclusion of content that reflected the country's cultural and linguistic diversity in commercial and public media.

National context

Social media are cultural and creative industries that disseminate the cultural expressions of the country in question, and Indigenous and Community Media have the ability to promote different languages, identities, ways of thinking and cultures, however, they also have different needs.

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The relationship between Indigenous and Community Media and

Cultural diversity

Not only are Indigenous and Community Media a source of employment for hundreds of people, but they also strengthen community ties...

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Creative and cultural industries

These make it possible to establish a local economy in which musicians, creators and communicators from all corners of Mexico can create and promote...

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Access to information and freedom of expression

They are becoming platforms that help to reinforce a sense of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the fight...

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The rights of indigenous peoples

As communication platforms that preserve the heritage of communities and territories, it would be difficult for us to access the content that they produce and generate...

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Methodology

In order to achieve the objectives of the project, which required a process of consultation and participation involving the key players, opening up spaces for dialogue, performing a diagnosis and analysis of specific needs, and establishing and coordinating collaborative networks for executing implementation activities, among other processes, it was agreed that Participatory Action Research (PAR) would be adopted as a central methodology, along with theoretical and conceptual frameworks that were in keeping with the ethical principles, context and objectives of the project.

The objectives and principles of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and other theoretical and methodological frameworks such as peace-building methodologies, positive conflict transformation, indigenous thinking and community logic were used as a basis. Previous participatory public policy-making and other experiences were also taken into account in terms of their analysis and design.

Implementation roadmap

Phase I, known as the consultation phase, achieved the objective of performing a participatory diagnosis to determine the current state of play where Indigenous and Community Media were concerned, as well as the needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.  

Phase II, the concertation phase, sought to identify the measures required in order to continue gathering input, criteria and proposals for applicable schemes for the purposes of ensuring assertiveness in the public policy-making efforts resulting from the project.

At phase III, the peer-to-peer exchange phase, good practices in Latin America and the United Kingdom were identified with a view to promoting South-South cooperation and highlighting those experiences most relevant to the Mexican context.

Phase IV, systematization and feedback, aims to produce a report outlining the main results of the project and to create a public policy recommendation document that will be fed back by the National Team.

Incorporation of the National Team

A National Team consisting of 70 representatives of indigenous, community and public media concessionaires, civil society organizations, academics, experts and government agencies was set up to determine the objectives and the various phases of the project. Members of the National Team have worked to provide feedback and enhance the initial approach of the project based on their experience and knowledge of the Mexican communications ecosystem and of Indigenous and Community Media in particular. Furthermore, the initiatives that have emerged as a result of collaborations between its members have been key to the instigation of pilot implementation actions and to participatory public policy-making.

© UNESCO

Among the organizations and institutions that make up the National Team are:

 

Radio Teocelo, Radio Huayacocotla, Radio Cholollan, Radio Ocumicho, Radio Nanhdiá, Radio Tosepan Limakxtum A.C., Red de Radios Comunitarias de México, A.C – AMARC México, Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A. C., Organización de Radios Comunitarias de Occidente, A. C., Ojo de Agua Comunicación, Red de Comunicadores Boca de Polen, A. C., Cultural Survival Capítulo México, Artículo 19 México, Red de Radiodifusoras y Televisoras Educativas y Culturales de México, A.C. (RED México), Instituto Mexicano de la Radio – IMER, Radio Educación, Fonoteca Nacional, Instituto Nacional de las Lenguas Indígenas, Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Secretaría de Gobernación e Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones...

 

View the full list here.

Coordination Team

The following were responsible for the coordination and management of the various phases of the project:

 

Presidency of the Republic:

  • Jesús Cantú Escalante
  • Xóchitl Pimienta Franco

UNESCO Mexico

  • Blanca Cruz Cárcamo
  • Alfonso Castellanos Ribot
  • Sandra Ordóñez González
  • Ana Cristina Ruelas