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

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!

Local Radio Stations in Africa: Sustainability or Pragmatic Viability?

Despite the explosion of digital news outlets globally, millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa continue to rely on radio as the most accessible independent news source. However, radio stations across continent are facing unprecedented threats to their sustainability due to weak media markets, limited advertising revenue and intense competition. A more pragmatic understanding of viability and more flexible donor strategies can help these outlets stay on air and maintain their independence.

The Rise of Internet Throttling: A Hidden Threat to Media Development

An increasing number of governments around the world are forcing internet service providers to slow their services during critical sociopolitical junctures—a practice known as throttling—infringing on citizens’ right to information and freedom of expression. Despite its deleterious impact on media development and foundational rights, throttling remains an often-neglected topic and risks becoming a pervasive, yet hidden, threat to press freedoms, democracy, and human rights.

Supporting Media at a Time of Crisis: Donors Explore New Strategies

This report, the last in a series that has explored entry points for strengthening international cooperation in the media sector, sheds some light on these questions. Based on 27 interviews with representatives of both private and official donor agencies, it examines the major obstacles and stumbling blocks that will have to be avoided if global support to the media sector is increased. The institutional impediments to effective aid, the report finds, are frequently related to limited human capacity and expertise in media at the donor organizations and a misalignment of support and needs. The cross-donor collaborations currently being considered can help to address these shortcomings, though not without risks.

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