Media Development in Brazil

@ Elza Fiúza- ABr -
Deputy Director of UNESCO in Brazil, Lucien Muñoz; EBC President-Director, Tereza Cruvinel, and EBC Council President, Ima Guimarães Vieira

UNESCO’s approach to media development includes tailored activities that are context-sensitive, and which also take account of the challenges and opportunities created by the rapidly changing media environment. The special-purpose International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is a unique multilateral forum in the UN system that mobilises the international community to support media in developing countries through a grant-making process.

IPDC’s Council, comprising 39 UNESCO member states, is also the forum where UNESCO’s Director-General submits a Report on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The IPDC Media Development Indicators (MDI) are a comprehensive research tool that highlights gaps in media development and so informs public policy and donor strategies. The MDI research findings, along with the reports on thousands of IPDC projects to date, add to IPDC’s initiative for “knowledge-driven media development”. 

Supporting journalism education is an important part of developing a free and independent media, and UNESCO promotes excellence in journalism schools worldwide and innovative curricula in order to assist the teaching of new subject areas and literacies for journalists.

Professional Journalistic Standards and Code of Ethics

UNECO has a resource section that is a public knowledge on media accountability issues and provides an overview of existing media accountability mechanisms in various countries.  It also provides relevant media standards for different countries concerning freedom of expression; access to information; and ethical and professional standards in journalism. It features principally three thematic sections: Media Legislation and Regulations, Regulatory Bodies, Codes of Ethics.

The section includes materials related to media accountability and self-regulation such as publications, websites and useful contacts where one can find more relevant information on the subject: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/professional-journalistic-standards-and-code-of-ethics/

Media Development in Brazil

Brazil’s Federal Constitution guarantees to the Brazilians a broad access to information from different and multiple sources within a democratic environment where freedom of speech and the press is ensured. The reality shows that the country still has a long way to go in terms of diversifying its information sources, also by expanding it to government and community communication channels.

Besides commercial media, with around 500 mass media vehicles, the 1988 Federal Constitution provides for the existence of two other systems: a state-owned one and a public one, which comprise those vehicles aimed at disseminating information on the activities performed by public authorities and, therefore they would be committed to the programmatic guidelines of the leaders of such bodies.

  • Brazil has recently established a model of Public Communication Corporation, financed by the Federal Government, but with institutional guarantees of freedom; and also the existence of a broad segment known as the community media.
  • Institutional media owned by the Legislative and Judiciary Branches at the federal, state and municipal levels have also increased, which have contributed to improving access to the information produced by those actors.

Capacity building of media professionals in Brazil:

There is visible and increasing concern in the Brazilian context with the efficacy, and efficiency of higher education courses in journalism, especially regarding their ability to qualify press professionals capable of covering the sophisticated agendas of human rights and human development.

  • There is a need for improving the quality of training centres producing future journalists and expanding the supply of tools for the cooperation efforts with editorial staff – especially of the community media – directed at ensuring coverage more attuned to the human rights agenda.
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