Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

2015-01_dc

D+C Vol.42.2015:1 27 “Media development makes a crucial contribution to participation in society, education and communi- cation.” Free access to information Freedom of expression and access to information are internationally accepted human rights. They are also crucial for the success of nearly all other devel- opment goals. Mary Myers, a freelance consultant who specialises in African media, says that “health, clean water, sanitary facilities, disease control and food security cannot be achieved without convey- ing information”. She adds, “information is also a key factor in improving access to services, govern- ment offices and inoculation programmes.” More­ over, Myers sees free media as vitally important for a country’s political development. Without critical questions from journalists, she says, there is no prospect of better governance. Considering relevant issues for the post-2015 development agenda, more than 200 organisations have formed a coalition to campaign for the inclu- sion of freedom of expression and media freedom. In December, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary gen- eral, published a report on member countries’ con- sultations concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report states that press freedom and access to information, freedom of expression, assembly and association are enablers of sustain­ able development. The matter will be further dis- cussed, and there is a chance that it may become part of the agenda. However, there is considerable opposition, in particular from authoritarian govern- ments. That comes as no surprise to Mark Nelson of the US Center for Media Assistance (CIMA). He believes that those who are blocking references to freedom of expression and media freedom in the SDG con- text understand the importance of media only too well: “Media can be very powerful when it comes to demanding accountability or better services – or political change, if necessary.” Nelson stresses that media contribute to creating a political environ- ment in which mistakes can be corrected, ideas are shared and people learn. He sees media develop- ment as a driver of economic success. Even though China and other countries have made progress without free media, he is convinced that “it will be difficult for those countries to maintain the momen- tum of growth if access to information continues to be denied and there are no independent media to report on what is happening in the country.” Bundling measures Alexander Görsdorf of Germany’s Fed- eral Ministry for Economic Coopera- tion and Development (BMZ) consid- ers media freedom as indispensable for the promotion of good governance and civil-society involvement in pub- lic affairs. Governments have a duty to promote a diverse and independent PeterHille/DW Newspaper seller in Khartoum, Sudan, 2012. “The primary aim is to involve local partners in projects.”

Seitenübersicht