[FoME] Publikation BBC World Service Trust: "Governance and the Media"

Christoph Dietz christoph.dietz at CAMECO.ORG
Mi Apr 29 10:00:47 CEST 2009

Lines, Kathy
Governance and the Media: A Survey of Policy Opinion
London: BBC World Service Trust, 2009, 40 S.

Media should be a stronger priority in development strategies, says an
independent policy opinion survey from the BBC World Service Trust
published on april 27.

The report, "Governance and the Media - a survey of policy opinion"
concludes that the role of media in the democratic and development
processes of developing countries is poorly researched, insufficiently
understood and inappropriately prioritised within the development

Independently conducted interviews were undertaken with a range of
development figures including John Githongo, the former anti-corruption
Czar in Kenya, Professor Paul Collier of Oxford University and Professor
Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

The report further observed that there is an "engagement gap" between
the importance of media in development, and its actual prioritisation in
development strategies.

As it states, "the importance of supporting free and pluralistic media
in relation to governance - and development outcomes - is thought to be
increasingly recognised by a wide range of policy makers, academics and
practitioners." Despite this, "there is an ‘engagement gap' between
the value assigned to its role ... and the practical provision made for
it in development planning, thinking and spending." 

James Deane, head of policy at the BBC World Service Trust explains the
motivation for commissioning the policy opinion survey: "Our aim ... was
not to reinforce our own analysis but to get a genuine independent
perspective on the role of media in democratic development here and now
in 2009" he says. "This is a survey mainly of development policy
experts, rather than media specialists, some of whom were selected
explicitly because they were expected to have challenging and perhaps
sceptical perspectives," he adds.

Consensus was not universal, but the overwhelming conclusion from the
report was that the role of media is especially poorly understood in
development strategies. 

"Shifting trends in media and communication in most developing
countries are rapid and dramatic and are having profound political and
social impacts," observes Deane. "When development organisations think
of media, they generally focus on how to get more coverage of the issues
they care about - the time has come for development organisations to
reflect just how critical media has become to the democratic fabric of
developing countries."

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