Tipping Point: Democratic Erosion and the Assault on Press Freedom

The majority of people now live under illiberal regimes or some form of autocracy as a consequence of democratic declines occurring globally since 2010. Understanding the driving forces behind this historic setback to democratic progress will be essential for turning the tide. An analysis of media indicators in the Varieties of Democracy Institute’s global index illustrates a common pattern in countries experiencing democratic setbacks, with important implications for action.

Turning the Tide on Autocrats Starts with Supporting a Free Press

At a moment of existential threat to independent media in many countries, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to two of the world‚Äôs bravest and most committed journalists‚ÄĒMaria Ressa of Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta‚ÄĒsends an important message. For the sake of democratic societies, a free press and access to trustworthy information must remain sacred.

Spyware: An Unregulated and Escalating Threat to Independent Media

The use of spyware poses safety risks to journalists and their sources, encourages self-censorship, and creates new financial and operational strains for news outlets. Media advocates, news outlets, and policymakers must articulate the irreparable harm spyware poses to independent media in order to develop a robust response.

The Untapped Potential of Regional Cooperation for Media Reform in Southern Africa

The 1991 adoption of the Windhoek Declaration in Namibia ushered in a continent-wide commitment to supporting independent media in Africa. Despite initial progress, including the establishment of the regional Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA), independent media in the region continues to suffer. However, there remains strong enthusiasm among media actors in Southern Africa to reignite a regional network to promote solidarity, address the myriad challenges independent media in the region face, and articulate an African vision and agenda for media development.

Tracking Media Development Donor Funding

International donors, both public and private, play an essential role in media development worldwide. Visit our Media Development Donor Profiles page for all of CIMA’s research on donor funding levels and strategic priorities.

What is Media Development?

The term ‚Äúmedia development‚ÄĚ 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.

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