[FoME] Media and Poverty Reduction

Christoph Dietz christoph.dietz at CAMECO.ORG
Do Okt 25 16:21:04 CEST 2007

Making poverty the story: time to involve the media in poverty reduction
London: Panos, 2007, 64 p.


As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund hold their annual meetings in Washington, a new report from Panos London, "Making poverty the story: time to involve the media in poverty reduction," argues that all policy actors must support the crucial contribution the mass media can make to poverty reduction efforts.

'Good journalism can monitor whether poverty reduction is taking place and hold governments and international donors to account for their policies. This is particularly important now that achieving the Millennium Development Goals is in jeopardy.' says Jon Barnes, co-author of the report and head of Panos London's globalisation programme.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) - introduced by the World Bank and the IMF in 1999 as a condition for providing financial support to low-income countries - were supposed to take public views into account, ideally those of poor people. Yet the public interest role of the media has been surprisingly overlooked in the fight to reduce poverty, despite the crucial need for stronger communication to boost public involvement.

'As governments and donors adopt new approaches to poverty reduction and development plans, there is a danger that they will place less emphasis on the issues and policies of keenest concern for the poor,' says Barnes. 'Giving poor people a voice through the media will keep up the pressure on governments and donors to design policies that reflect the priorities of those most in need.'

In many of the world's poorest countries, particularly in Africa, the media face considerable challenges. The report highlights that while recent media liberalisation and media diversity are to be welcomed, competition also means that public service and public interest content can be sidelined as rival media outlets seek out bigger audiences.

Making poverty the story offers practical recommendations for policymakers, civil society and media houses to ensure that the media is harnessed to support poverty reduction.

Mehr Informationen über die Mailingliste FoME