Communication is - sadly - not at the core of most development work. At CommGAP we often hear: we need to strengthen the economy first. We need to stabilize the country first. We need to ensure the delivery of public services first.
I promised in the previous post on this topic to offer a way of taking internal political processes seriously as we seek to strengthen media systems around the world.
When we're advocating for more attention to the role of independent media systems in developing nations, we often hear the question: What about conflict and post-conflict societies? Isn't it much more important to build peace first, to provide humanitarian aid, and to stimulate economic growth before thinking about what the people see on television?
I have noticed over the years that groups working to strengthen media systems around the world concentrate their attention on donors active in international development. This is understandable for two reasons. Donors have money and you go to them if you want an initiative funded. Second, donors - either alone or collectively - have influence in many countries. Once in a long while, they are able to bring about change just by insisting on it and being prepared to fund the process of change.
But there is one big reason why donors alone cannot strengthen media systems, especially in authoritarian political systems. And that is power... the acquisition and retention of power.
It’s already been a year since People, Spaces, Deliberation was officially launched, and we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our readers and our bloggers for making this blog into such a rewarding experience.
I always find puzzling how easily techno-enthusiasts believe that new information software and gizmos can successfully address many problems for democratic communication. I guess it’s part of the perennial search for quick magic bullets to solve the miseries of the world.