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!

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’s bravest and most committed journalists—Maria Ressa of Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta—sends 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.

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