Research on Journalism Training and Media Development

Reports on Media Development on a Broader Scale

Media Matters – Perspectives on Advancing Governance & Development from the Global Forum for Media Development

This 224 page study by Global Forum for Media Development done in 2008 follows a year-long collaboration between media development practitioners and leading social, political and communications scientists, drawing together thinking and analysis that covers the breadth and depth of the media development landscape. It includes reports by UNDP, IREX, Media Development Loan Fund, and more.

It includes the following sections “Why Media Matters: Global Perspectives”, “How Media Matters: Measuring its Impact”, “Challenges in Media Matters: Practitioner Experiences”, and “Mapping the Sector – Literature, Surveys and Resources”.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings from Selected Chapters:

“The Role of the Free Press in Promoting Democratization, Good Governance and Human Development”

  • The study confirms many of the assumptions about the role of independent journalism, that the free press matters, both intrinsically and instrumentally.
  • Eradicating limits on the free exchange of information are important to strengthening political and human development.

“Measuring Change in Media Systems: The Media Sustainability Index”

  • The MSI is an effective at measuring media systems, and seeks to be transparent in its methodology, applying greater methodological rigor to media development.
  • It allows the use the results in assessments, monitoring and evaluation, and the challenge of results and review of those contributing to the published results.

“A Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit for Media Development: What do available indicators and integrative approaches have to offer?”

  • Partnerships with social scientists can help identify the ways in which M&E can be used in media development initiatives.
  • Bridging the practical and theoretical dimensions of media development is essential in making valid and reliable evidence-based claims with regard to its impact.

“A Road Map for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Media Development Sector”

  • Monitoring and evaluation should be rooted it as a core competency of media development work, otherwise it will find itself consigned to irrelevancy.


Empowering Independent Media - U.S. Efforts to Foster Free and Independent News Around the World

This 96 page study by the Center for International Media Assistance done in 2008 focuses on recent U.S. efforts on media development, although lessons are drawn from media development globally.

It examines eight areas deemed essential to the success of independent media assistance: funding, professional development, higher education, the legal-enabling environment, sustainability, media literacy, new media, and monitoring and evaluation.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • Training should emphasize international standards, and integrate ethics with practical skills. Media managers and owners also should be targeted. In universities, real-world experience should be emphasized, and student-run media encouraged.
  • Media literacy should be encouraged, and programs should be expanded to educate the general public about the role of a free press in a democracy.
  • Projects should have exit strategies to avoid collapse when outside financial support ends.


Strengthening Africa’s Media – Consultation Process – Anglophone West Africa Sub-Regional Meeting

This 45 page study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) done in 2006 reports on a meeting that brought together 50 participants including owners, publishers, practitioners and editors of both the print and electronic media from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Also present at the meeting were trainers from media institutions and observers from media rights advocacy organizations and other interest groups.

It identifies the major challenges and the current most critical issues impeding the growth and development of media and hindering their ability to function as key agents of good governance in the sub-region. It includes recommendations and strategies for dealing with laws obstructing free media and proposals for promoting common media legislation standards among others, for strong and viable media in Anglophone West Africa. Recommendations were made on the following topics: Current critical press freedom issues, Media Policy and Regulation, Financial Sustainability—Economic Challenges of the Media Industry, Training—Meeting the Challenges of Growing Needs Today, and Editorial standards and capacity development.


African Media Development Initiative Research Summary Report

This 142 page study by the African Media Development Initiative done in 2006 surveyed the state of media across 17 sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It provides insights showing how donors, investors, media and media development organizations can collaborate in supporting and strengthening Africa’s media sector. It aimed to assess the key changes and developments in the media sector in Africa over the past five years; to show how training and capacity building activities have contributed to the development of the media; and to identify future actions with the greatest potential impact on the media sector in Africa.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • There is strong support for a pan-African initiative that would complement national interventions, with potential benefits like stronger advocacy to the international community and pan-African bodies, shared learning, improved access to resources, reduced costs (via joint purchasing power) and better-focused funding.
  • There is no need to create another media support organization, but better to harness existing resources and create a platform for more significant investment.


Unfolding Media Development Initiatives on the Continent: Problems and Prospects

This 11 page study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) done in 2006 is a descriptive account of the key media development initiatives underway in sub-Saharan Africa, referencing the Global Forum for Media Development, the African Media Development Initiative (AMDI), and the STREAM (Strengthening African Media) consultative process. It points out some problems associated with the initiatives, and the prospects they hold for the future of media institutions on the continent.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • Regional donors should firmly assert their support for the current consultative process in general, while recognizing the difficulties involved in building true regional, let alone continental, consensus on the form and content that any final media development initiative will take.
  • Regional donors should recognize and support the role of national and regional media organizations in this process. Country-level media organizations need to feel that the process truly represents them and that they will benefit from it.


Media Assistance Policy and Programmatic Lessons

This study 40 page study by USAID done in 2004 reports on a thorough assessment of the Agency’s media assistance programs from July 2002 to June 2003 conducted in Bosnia, Central America, Russia, and Serbia. The study also reviews a lot of literature on media assistance.

It presents a set of policy and programmatic findings and recommendations that have emerged out of the assessment and proposes a framework for types of programmatic interventions that can be carried out in different political systems.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • A lack of systematic local needs assessment, underrepresentation of small media outlets or remote areas, and international NGOs provided direct training rather than working with local universities were often problems.
  • Activities promoting economic viability: training in business, accounting, and management; giving onsite technical assistance to improve management and increase sales; and providing access to marketing information.
  • Appointing a board of advisors with eminent journalists, media educators, and local media owners to design and implement the program ensured its integrity.


An Operational Framework for Media and Peacebuilding

This 33 page study by Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS) done in 2002 identifies opportunities to strengthen the media as an element of conflict reduction and peacebuilding.

It is intended for donors, agencies and nongovernmental organizations, media practitioners, governments and others, and conflict managers or peacekeepers. It offers a guide or framework for understanding how media-related interventions can be used in a variety of conflict conditions, for both donors and implementers The framework can support planning, implementing or evaluating media initiatives to avoid risk and misapplication of resources. It presents a typology of interventions potentially appropriate to the media conditions that exist in those stages of conflict, or in others. It provides indicators for assessing those interventions and includes a matrix of exceptional examples of media peacebuilding initiatives.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • Funding should be linked to responsible editorial content.
  • On-site training is much superior to unrelated training environments.
  • The willingness of media managers to buy into the benefits of training of their workers is essential.
  • Interventions should not focus on needs, but rather focus on identifying, mobilizing, and strengthening community or local assets.


The Development of Community Media in East and Southern Africa

This 17 page study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) examines reports of media development work in East and Southern Africa during the 1990s. Topics covered include: an overview of community media in the sub-region; defining community media; training for community media; technologies for community media; and regulating community media.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • There is need for much research, advocacy, training and financing in support of community media in this region.
  • Illustrations about impact are largely anecdotal, and show that practitioners make untested assumptions about the role of participatory communications in development.
  • The ability of communities in this region to negotiate cultural differences towards a common vision in community media remains to be seen.


Mapping Media Assistance

This 67 page study by the Annenberg School for Communication done in 2002 provides a “map” of media assistance, confined the post-Soviet period, based on global activities emanating from Europe and the United States.

It includes organizations and governmental bodies involved in media assistance, areas of specialization, when and whom to assist, funding levels, media assistance and patterns of transition, a case study on Afghanistan and challenges for media assistance. This study details challenges to media assistance including: Problems with Donor Level Coordination, Conflicting Philosophies, Insufficient Evaluations, and Reconciling New Media and Old Media Needs.


Promoting Media-Community Action for Shaping Rights-Based Outcomes

This 26 page study by the United Nations Development Programme Philippines done in 2002 covers a collaboration between the government of the Philippines and UNDP to promote good governance.

It details the value added of using rights-based strategies. Realizing the vital role that the media can play in enabling good governance, the project, at the macro level, aimed at developing a framework for media engagement in governance reforms, evoke a deeper understanding of the state of governance and the state of media at the local level and through such understanding, redefine the participative media-multi-sector roles to enable good governance.

Key Lessons Learned/Recommendations/Findings:

  • Legitimacy was optimized via partnerships with quasi-Governmental agencies.
  • Civil society in the Philippines has been successful in using the decentralization process in producing rights-based outcomes.
  • There is a high possibility that the community may not use such capacity development for advocacy and lobbying.