There are numerous information sources in Latin America: mobile phones, for example are popular, and studies show that social networks play a major role in daily life. However, obtaining information can be extremely difficult. Even in the digital age, entire population groups are largely excluded from voicing their needs and concerns. This is especially true for people who live in rural areas and for indigenous groups.
The hindrances are many. Media monopolies, for example, limit diversity. In areas where a few companies own almost all of the TV and radio stations, minorities face challenges in making their voices heard. Civil society organizations often complain about "deaf states" where governments are reluctant to release information. And journalism is a dangerous profession in many Latin American countries. Critical media workers here are often put under pressure or attacked, with dramatic consequences for freedom of expression.
In response, DW Akademie supports networks that enable people to access information. We support community radio stations, local journalist networks and online activists, and advocate indigenous peoples' right to freedom of expression and information. Together with partners, we develop innovative training approaches and advise alternative media on ways to develop sustainable business models. We promote social dialogues – for example, in coming to terms with the horrors of civil war – and support those who teach young people how to use the media critically. Promoting local expertise and developing local networks therefore plays a central role in our projects in Latin America.