The Colegio Dominicano de Periodistas (College of Dominican Journalists- CDP by its acronym in Spanish) has just launched the most-comprehensive report on media development in the country.
The report, Análisis del Desarrollo Mediático en República Dominicana (Assessment of Media Development in the Dominican Republic), is the result of a study conducted using UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs), a flagship initiative of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). It examines the current media environment in five main areas: legal and regulatory framework; pluralism and diversity; the role of the media as a platform for democratic discourse; professional training and technical infrastructure to support independent and pluralistic media.
During the recent launch of the report at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra de Santo Domingo on 31 October 2017, the coordinator of the research team, Adalberto Grullón, underscored the usefulness of the report as a reference document for decision-making on the implementation of media development programmes in the country. Authorities of the Dominican College of Journalists and the Ministry of Education, journalists, legislators, members of UNESCO and the UN country team, as well students, attended the event.
Katherine Muller-Marin, Director of the Regional Office of Culture for Latin America and the Caribbean of UNESCO, said the study was developed between 2013 and 2015 by a team of academics, journalists and representatives of professional associations in the country. It brought views of hundreds of people on a crucial issue for democracy and sustainable development, which were gathered through two national surveys, discussion groups with journalists and representatives of civil society organizations, and interviews with experts and government officials, among other actors. In addition, the study included an extensive literature review on the regulatory framework for communication and information in the country.
Serving as guidance for policy makers, the media, civil society organizations, and academia, the study also offers a series of recommendations to address challenges towards a free and independent media environment.
UNESCO’s MDIs were developed and endorsed by the Intergovernmental Council of IPDC in 2008. Since the endorsement, they have become one of IPDC’s flagship initiatives and have been applied in 20 countries, while assessments are underway in many more.