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Correlations between Press Freedom and Human Development Demonstrated

Andrea Cairola's picture

With the new year, the UNESCO printing house has just come out with the copies of the paper “Press freedom and development: an analysis of correlations between freedom of the press and the different dimensions of development, poverty, governance and peace.”

It is satisfying to see brand-new books containing the study on which I’ve been working as part of a research project implemented by the Centre for Peace and Human Security (CPHS) at Sciences Po University, with UNESCO's support. And it is even more interesting to see some of the conclusions that the independent scholars reached in this research -- namely, that press freedom is positively correlated with good governance, human development, and democracy. This is, of course, one more argument to corroborate the theories on how a functioning public sphere contributes to peace-building and governance.

Human Rights Never Get Old

Andrea Cairola's picture

It was a hectic time for human rights last week here in Paris because of the many initiatives to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed on 10 December 1948 in this very town, at Palais de Chaillot. And it was hectic here at UNESCO’s HQ as well, which among many initiatives opened its doors to the last living witness of the Declaration’s drafting group, lawyer Stéphane Hessel awarded with the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize.
 
But working myself in the “Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace Division”, of course my focus was on the Declaration’s Article 19, the right of every individual to “freely seek, receive and impart information through any media and regardless of frontiers”. A perfect formulation by those wise drafters Mr Hessel was part of. And a forward-looking one if we think that the wording “through any media and regardless of frontiers” was conceived in the aftermath of WWII, but it is even more of appropriate nowadays in the age of the Internet. Let’s repeat it once again: “freely seek, receive and impart information” - that is to say the essential prerequisite for two-way flow of information among public sphere’s three sectors: the media, the civil society and the State.

Media Indicators and the Public: It’s Not You, It’s Me!

Antonio Lambino's picture

UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication recently developed a framework for assessing the state of media around the world. This framework is comprised of a set of indicators that are meant to help diagnose the media's overall he


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