Enough with Whispering about Media Freedom

For any ordinary person, engaging in discussion with the world’s most powerful leader feels close to impossible. But I experienced the impossible when I met President Barack Obama on World Press Freedom Day to speak about media restrictions in Ethiopia.


For many years Mali boasted one of Africa's most liberal media environments. Unfortunately, recent civil conflict has undermined political stability in the country. Check out our latest guest post from one of the National Endowment for Democracy's current Reagan-Fascell Fellows, Malian ICT specialist Tidiani Togola, as he dissects the strengths and weaknesses of the media in his home country.

Strengthening Freedom of Expression in a Multicultural World

Freedom of expression is seen as a universal right in most countries, at least on paper if not always in practice. But building support for freedom of expression has become more complex as countries have become more culturally diverse. How do we strengthen media professionals’ capacities to deal with these complex cases, which often involve hate speech and incitement to violence, and improve the quality of independent media? What professional standards of accuracy, impartiality, independence, sensitivity, and accountability should journalists follow in culturally divided societies?

What is Media Development?

The term “media development” refers to evolution and change in the fields of news media and communications. This evolution can be stimulated by donor support, private investment, or indigenous processes of change led by media owners, managers, journalists, or other players such as media industry associations, or other collective efforts.


Press Freedom Scores


A senior State Department official recently stoked controversy when she said "Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward." Meanwhile, the Zone 9 bloggers remain in prison and press freedom has been under attack in the country. Check out what the major press freedom indices have to say. (All scores are adjusted to a 1-100 scale)

  • IREX
  • FH
  • RSF