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!

Media Pluralism, Public Trust, and Democracy: New Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean

As elsewhere, public trust in the media is on the decline in Latin America and the Caribbean. Is this trend attributable to social media? To a broader anti-establishment backlash? Or does it reflect growing concerns over pluralism in the media and the dominant control of the media by a few elites. Understanding the public perceptions on these issues is essential for building broad coalitions for reform.

Information Not Found: The "Right to Be Forgotten" as an Emerging Threat to Media Freedom in the Digital Age

As expansive as the amount of information available via the internet is, however, sometimes the most valuable information is what cannot be found. This is increasingly the case as some governments and private citizens are trying to limit what can easily be discovered online, which is also reflected by a growing body of so-called Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) legislation. The Right to Be Forgotten generally refers to the de-indexing, or even total removal, of information on the internet, especially from search engines, so that it is not readily accessible to end users.1 Having first emerged within European jurisprudence, it is now being applied in other contexts with different legal frameworks. Yet, how can democracies function properly if citizens are ultimately denied the right to access information about, for example, public officials, government ledgers, or corporate filings?

In Repressive Countries, Citizens Go 'Dark' to Share Independent News

The blind spot, dubbed “dark social,” originates when visitors arrive from links shared by email, text, or private messaging applications—not to be confused with the more nefarious “dark web.” As analytics firms begin to shine a light onto the dark spots of referral data, they are learning that these invisible, peer-to-peer forms of sharing news are far more important than previously understood, kindling further consideration among publishers of how to harness messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram for distribution.

Pathways to Media Reform in Sub‑Saharan Africa: Reflections from a Regional Consultation

This report lays out a vision for how the continuing struggle for vibrant, independent, and plural media systems in the region might more effectively bolster efforts of democratic revitalization. The report draws on the input of 36 experts in media and governance from 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa who met in Durban, South Africa, in July 2017, and it deepens the insights and ideas that came from this group by documenting previously successful media reforms in sub-Saharan Africa.

Advocating for Openness: Nine Ways Civil Society Groups Have Mobilized to Defend Internet Freedom

Civil society groups from the Global South are leading the charge to advocate for an Internet that remains open, pluralistic, and democratic. The nine case studies highlighted in this report demonstrate various ways groups in different countries have successfully fought for policies and norms that strengthen Internet freedom and digital rights.

Media Development in the Digital Age: Five Ways to Engage in Internet Governance

The digital convergence means that how the Internet develops going forward — both in terms of policy and technology — will shape the very environment in which all other media operate. This report makes the case to this community that they can, and must, engage in the decision-making bodies that are shaping Internet governance (IG) to ensure that the Internet — and the growing media sphere it sustains — remains open, pluralistic, and democratic.

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