Promoting the adoption of progressive community media and media and information literacy (MIL) policy among authorities and duty-bearers is a means of empowering entire nations of media users. UNESCO has expanded support for media pluralism and its work in integrating MIL into the formal and non-formal education curricula.
The Organization is supporting the development of community media and media and information literacy in 11 countries across Africa and Asia, including Bangladesh, Burundi, Gambia, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine, South Sudan and Tunisia.
“The media affect our beliefs, our choices and how we live together,” said Mirta Lourenço, Chief of Media Development and Society at UNESCO. “By encouraging the coverage of local issues and making people be critical in their interactions with media, we can help to build stronger and better-informed democracies.”
To accomplish this goal, the Organization is working with duty bearers and encouraging sustainable policy for community media, the third branch of the media that has the capacity to focus on pressing local issues. Simultaneously, the program is strengthening the capacity of audiences to better engage with the media, assess the information they receive and enter into discussions on and offline – without causing harm to themselves or others.
These actions are possible thanks to the Multi-Donor Programme for Freedom of Expression. While this rollout of UNESCO’s Programme is only addressing community media and media and information literacy, the special account is also available to support UNESCO’s work with the media in other domains. The account can receive funds to cover actions concerning the media and gender equality or situations of crisis and emergency, such as how the media reports on terrorism, migration and climate change, as well as the security of journalists, among others.
Through this initiative, UNESCO is working to further the development of free, independent and pluralistic media. It is also contributing to the promotion of quality education, gender equality, peace and strong institutions, and partnerships, as in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 16 and 17.
To learn more about this special account and the program, please click here.