Internet Governance and Media Development

While at first blush discussions about digital regulation, technical protocols, and infrastructure may seem distant from the concerns of news media, in fact, they ultimately have a direct impact on who is able to access the internet and how that information flows on the global network. This series of videos introduces viewers to key issues in internet governance and explains how they impact broader media development efforts. Internet governance refers to all of the policies, processes, and technologies that structure of the Internet. These videos present concrete examples of how different aspects of internet governance affect news producers and consumers. Together, these episodes point to the urgent need for a conversation among journalists, civil society activists, policymakers, engineers, and digital media companies about how the internet should be governed to safeguard the health of the public sphere in countries around the world.

Episode 1: The “Right to be Forgotten”

Episode One shows how the “right to be forgotten” that various countries are beginning to enforce can protect people from the stigma of an embarrassing past but might also limit access to important information of public interest.

Episode 2: Encryption

Episode Two illustrates the importance of digital security for journalists and activists in an era of increasing online surveillance and how improvements in technical encryption standards can help create the conditions for free speech to thrive.

Episode 3. Zero-rating

Episode Three introduces the concept of “zero-rating,” the policy of providing free but limited internet that is becoming popular in the developing world, and warns of the danger that zero-rating creates an uneven playing field in the online market for news.

Episode 4. Sustainability

Episode Four demonstrates how social media platforms’ decisions about how to display and rank content can have dramatic effects on news producers’ abilities to reach audiences.

CIMA welcomes you to use and reproduce the series as an educational and awareness-raising tool. Small-file versions of each episode that you can download and share via email or messaging app are available here: Part 1: The Right to Be Forgotten”, Part 2: Encryption, Part 3: Zero-rating, and Part 4: Sustainability.

Read more of CIMA’s work on Internet Governance


The Rise of Internet Throttling: A Hidden Threat to Media Development.” Samuel Woodhams, 2020.
China’s New Media Dilemma: The Profit in Online Dissent.” Louisa Chang, 2019.
Big Data, Not Big Brother: New Data Protection Laws and the Implications for Independent Media Around the World.” Ayden Férdeline, 2019.
How Social Media Taxes Can Burden News Outlets: The Case of Uganda.” Juliet Nanfuka, 2019.
‘Free Internet’ and the Costs to Media Pluralism: The Hazards of Zero-Rating the News.” Daniel O’Maley and Amba Kak, 2018.
Information Not Found: The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ as an Emerging Threat to Media Freedom in the Digital Age.” Michael Oghia, 2018.
In Repressive Countries, Citizens Go ‘Dark’ to Share Independent News.” Kate Musgrave, 2017.
Media Development in the Digital Age: Five Ways to Engage in Internet Governance.” Corinne Cath, Niels ten Oever, and Daniel O’Maley, 2017.
Media Feast, News Famine: Ten Global Advertising Trends That Threaten Independent Journalism.” Michelle Foster, 2017.
Cuba’s Parallel Worlds: Digital Media Crosses the Divide.” Anne Nelson, 2016.
Journalist Security in the Digital World: A Survey – Are We Using the Right Tools?” Javier Garza Ramos, 2016.
Watchdogs Under Watch: Media in the Age of Cyber Surveillance.” Don Podesta, 2015.

Blog Posts

‘POFMA,’ Politics, and the Press in Singapore.” Jonathan Hew, 2019.
Information Laundering and Globalized Media – Part 1: The Problem.” Noah Arjomand, 2018.
Information Laundering and Globalized Media – Part 2: Solutions.” Noah Arjomand, 2018.
The Battle for Freedom of Expression Online: Where Are the Journalists?” Andreas Reventlow, 2017.
Open Internet Principles for Democracy: Putting Media Freedom Front and Center.” Daniel O’Maley, 2017.
Internet Universality Indicators: UNESCO Invites Media Development Stakeholders and Journalists to Help Develop New Indicators.” Xianhong Hu, 2017.
Multistakeholder Internet Governance Under Attack in Brazil.” Daniel O’Maley, 2017.
Facebook’s ‘Explore Feed’ Experiment Threatens Independent Voices in Serbia.” Marija Šajkaš, 2017.
Status Code 451: An Internet Governance Standard to Expose Censorship.” Corinne Cath and Daniel O’Maley, 2017.
The Missing Stakeholder in Internet Governance – The Media.” Daniel O’Maley, 2016.
The Data Explosion: Media, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.” Carlos Affonso Souza, 2016.
Diversifying Internet Governance with a Focus on Media.” Daniel O’Maley, 2016.
Getting Involved in Internet Governance: An Introductory Guide.” Michael Oghia, 2017.