Media in Latin America: A path forward | #mediadev | DW | 21.01.2016
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Media in Latin America: A path forward

DW Akademie and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) present first findings of a joint consultation project. Concurrently, Latin American activists have published a declaration on media concentration.

A few weeks after the first regional consultations took place in Bogotá, Colombia, the continent’s leading media watchdog organizations and NGOs have called on Latin America’s governments to take concrete steps to guarantee freedom of expression and plurality of voices in the media. The declaration was issued by a coalition of a dozen stakeholders that participated in the event. It calls for governments to combat “monopolies, oligopolies, and undue concentration” of the media, as well as the establishment of international standards for freedom of expression and public policies that will allow governments to “democratize and reverse the media systems already concentrated.”

This declaration stemmed from expert discussions at the international conference in Bogotá, which was the first of a series of regional consultations with media stakeholders. The conference was organized by DW Akademie and CIMA as part of their joint project "Media Development and the Governance Debate: Reframing the Agenda". The new publication Media in Latin America: A Path Forward summarizes the discussion and findings of the Latin American stakeholders, among them civil society and media watchdog NGOs, broadcast regulators, academics, media industry representatives, government officials, and others in the media and development sectors. Three main challenges stand out as relevant to all countries of the region: concentration of ownership, regulation, and sustainability.

Through multi-stakeholder consultations, the joint DW Akademie and CIMA project looks at ways local activists and international players can support media reforms, form alliances and encourage governments to create more open and independent media systems. The aim of the regional conferences is to diagnose the challenges and chances facing independent and open media in the world today, and foster more discussion about how they can best be supported.

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