Media Development


In the 21st century, new practices, new actors, and new arenas are changing the media landscape. Access to information, and access to the technologies that provide that information, are becoming major issues in local, national, and international contexts. With the breathtaking pace of evolution in new technologies, including the spread of mobile phones throughout the world, monitoring trends and changes in the media itself, and in development programs, is at the heart of the innovation issue. The media development community can embrace innovation and thus help facilitate the blending of legacy and digital media.

What are the new practices for media in the 21st century? How is the media landscape changing? How can media development programs embrace new trends?

Innovation in Media Development

Across the world, journalists and traditional media organizations have come to realize that new media and technology have profound impact on their work. The explosion of access to technology and information has led to a rapidly evolving media environment, where everyone from professional journalists, to government officials, to ordinary citizens, can create their own approaches to how news and information is created and shared. This connectivity brings with it implications for security: How do media development practitioners keep up with governments who are clamping down and restricting the online space through surveillance, censorship, and Internet blackouts?

CIMA monitors innovation in media development through its reports, events, and mailings, such as Journalism Training in the Digital Era: Views From the Field; The New Gatekeepers: Controlling Information in the Internet Age; Bigger Cities, Smaller Screens: Urbanization, Mobile Phones, and Digital Media Trends in Africa; and The Video Revolution.


How are media development programs designed and implemented? What are the tools used for diagnostics and evaluation? What is the impact of media development interventions?


What is the legal and political enabling environment for media? How do media organizations achieve financial independence? How do media development programs create a standard of professionalism?


What are the funding models for media development? Who funds media development and how much do they provide? How can we better track funding for media development programs?