During a working group session as part of the “Access to Information, Media and Accountability” workshop in Dar es Salaam in March, I wondered just how difficult it would be to shift the discussion from advocacy in support of the access to information (ATI) and media services draft laws to key aspects of how to implement these laws. It is no revelation that implementation of access to information legislation is quite challenging, as two other African countries with ATI laws, South Africa and Uganda, have already discovered. But what the workshop in Tanzania (supported by CommGAP) also showed is that even if an access to information law is enacted, people have to be informed enough to use it.
Watching the news coverage of Hurricane Gustav yesterday, I was transfixed by images of trees violently swaying and water topping over concrete barriers meant to protect people and property from natural calamities. Having grown up in a developing country with a tropical climate, I am no stranger to the fury of cyclones and some of their most devastating effects – the grievous loss of life and sense of community, the tragic separation of friends and families, and the seemingly senseless destruction of private and public goods and infrastructure. As the U.S. news media fixated on Gustav, my mind's eye juxtaposed media coverage of typhoon after typhoon, too many to mention by name, that wreaked havoc in Southeast Asia.
A few days ago, The New York Times published a story on a new online approach to selecting and funding investigative journalism pieces. A nonprofit called Spot
In the early 1990s, I was on the Editorial Board of the leading newspaper of record in Lagos, Nigeria until I left for the UK. It was called The Guardian; and it is still there. I had been in the Nigerian media for a while and to be invited to join the Editorial Board of The Guardian in those days was regarded as an achievement.
I was sent this report this week by one of my colleagues in the World Bank. It speaks for itself. And it reinforces the need for serious attention to be paid to the strengthening of the media as an institution of accountability in developing countries. Here's the press release accompanying the report.
I have just returned from an exhausting but exhilarating week in Kabul, where I had a lively exchange with the Afghan journalists. The freedom that exists for the press in Afghanistan is largely thanks to an enlightened Deputy Minister who some years ago freely issued licenses. However, whilst the top end of the media mark
In a previous post, Shanthi outlines the difficulties in measuring the impact of media development efforts.
In a previous job, I was asked to organize media training for senior technocrats in international development who would, in the course of their jobs, have to face the media from time to time to answers questions about their areas of responsibility. As I set about doing a learning needs assessment and organizing the training, I noticed a dynamic I had not reflected on before.