CIMA's Mission Statement

The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) is dedicated to improving U.S. efforts to promote independent media in developing countries around the world.

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About CIMA

Our Approach:

We strive to build a foundation of knowledge for media development donors, implementers, and civil society actors on best practices and solutions for improving media systems. We do this because we believe media plays an indispensable role in the creation and development of sustainable democracies.

CIMA focuses on four cross-cutting issue areas in media development: effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, and funding. Together, they encompass efforts to improve the capacity and quality of the media sector.

What we do:

  • Conduct Research
  • Produce Written Analysis
  • Convene Experts
  • Develop Networks of Thought Leaders

What is Media Development?

The term media development refers to evolution and change in the fields of news media and communications. Such change relates to a range of institutions, practices, and behaviors including the rule of law, freedoms of expression and press, education systems for journalists, business environments, capacities of journalists and managers, as well as support for a diversity of views in society. This evolution can be stimulated by donor support, private investment, or local processes of change led by media owners, managers, journalists, media industry associations, and other collective efforts. Read more!

A Regional Consultation in Southeast Asia: Looking for Leadership

Although southeast Asia has experienced greater governmental integration in recent decades through the evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the region’s freedom of expression and human rights activists remain fractured due, in part, to differences in language, political contexts, and a lack of supportive regional institutional structures.

Cuba's Parallel Worlds: Digital Media Crosses the Divide

The Cuban government’s heavy-handed censorship practices are well documented, and evident in the virtual absence of independent print and broadcast journalism. Yet recently, many Cubans have shown themselves remarkably well informed about the outside world, in ways that cannot be explained by their traditional media offerings. This newfound benefit is the result of a parallel world of digital media, supported by ingenious Cuban workarounds. In “Cuba’s Parallel Worlds: Digital Media Crosses the Divide,” Anne Nelson analyzes the findings of two years of research, including extensive field work and on-the-ground surveys across the island.


Legislators from 11 Latin American countries met in Bogota to discuss the problems media face in the region under the theme “Constructing a Favorable Environment for Plural and Independent Media in Latin America.” Fourteen legislators from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela spoke about the state of media and media law in their countries and heard presentations of case studies from the conference organizers.

Putting Research to Work: Scholars and Practitioners Discuss Greater Collaboration

The workshop was held at the University of Westminster in London and was an official pre-conference event for the 2016 International Association of Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR) conference in Leicester, UK. We were joined by over 60 academics from 22 countries on four continents, representing universities, research centers, and implementing organizations.

Mexican Journalism, Still in the Line of Fire

Mexico is the deadliest country in Latin America for journalists, with press watchdog groups registering at least one attack against the press every day. Sadly, attacks on journalists in Mexico are nothing new. In April 2012, CIMA published Dangerous Work: Violence Against Mexico’s Journalists and Lessons from Colombia, a report detailing the violence against the media and recommending steps that the Mexican government could take in order to remedy the situation. The government of Mexico did enact some measures to protect journalists starting in 2012. Today, CIMA releases Mexican Journalism, Still in the Line of Fire, an update to the earlier CIMA report.

Profiles in Media Development Funding

In order to better understand the work donors are facilitating around the world the Center for International Media Assistance, with support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF), surveyed these organizations. In each profile you will learn about the organization’s background, its current thematic priorities, details about funding, and in most cases a couple of examples that illustrate the types of media development projects they fund.

Analyzing the Panama Papers in Baghdad: An Interview with Iraqi Journalist Muntathar Nasser

The unprecedented collaboration of over 400 investigative journalists in more than 80 countries to analyze the 11.5 million files leaked from the database of the fourth-largest offshore law firm in the world, Mossack Fonseca, has been one of the biggest global media stories of the year. Some have argued that this novel, cross-border cooperation, which was coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, is the future of investigative journalism. But what is participation like for journalists around the world, and what do they think about the future of such initiatives?

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