UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDI) are now available in Thai, offering an effective tool to promote and implement international standards and good practices in Thailand’s media sector.
The translation of the MDI framework into Thai comes at a pivotal time in the country, as a constitutional process is underway which will affect wide segments of Thai society, including the media sector. The MDI are a diagnostic tool that can be used to assess Thailand’s media sector and provide valuable inputs into the national reform debate.
In December 2015, UNESCO will hold a workshop in Bangkok to present the MDI framework to representatives of Thai media associations as well as those charged with drafting reforms related to the media sector. The aim will be to use the framework as a reference for discussion on how international standards and good practices can be incorporated into future media policies and practices.
UNESCO’s MDI suggest five major categories of indicators that can be used to analyse a country’s media sector: a) Legal and regulatory framework; b) Plurality and diversity of media; c) Media as a platform for democratic discourse; d) Professional capacity building; and e) Infrastructural capacity.
The Media Development Indicators are an initiative of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and were endorsed in 2008 by its Intergovernmental Council. They provide a comprehensive framework to help stakeholders assess the media landscape in a country and how it stands in relation to international standards. The results of the assessment can also help to measure the impact of media development programmes.
The list of countries that have benefited from their application is increasing, and in Asia and the Pacific region, studies have been launched or completed in Bhutan, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste.
The Thai translation of the MDI as well as the planned workshop are supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).