The Center for International Media Assistance is pleased to release The Politics of Media Development: The Importance of Engaging Government and Civil Society, By Paul Rothman of CIMA’s staff.
In the field of media development, the public sector is often viewed as a barrier to the development of independent and sustainable media. Although governments do frequently pervert and capture media sectors in countries around the globe, the enabling conditions under which media can achieve and maintain independence are nevertheless reliant on institutions of government. Therefore the media development community must rethink its approaches to public sector engagement in efforts to improve the environment for media systems in emerging and fragile democracies.
This paper outlines the key role of political support, the need for more nuanced understanding of political context, and how donors and implementers can more effectively engage drivers of change in the public sector to build support for media and media development work.