02.05.2017 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

UNESCO to launch publication on media concentration and freedom of expression on this year’s World Press Freedom Day Celebration

On the 3rd May 2017, in Asunción, Paraguay, UNESCO will launch the publication titled, Media Concentration and Ownership and Freedom of Expression: International Standards and Implications for the Americas.

The event will take place during this year’s regional World Press Freedom Day Celebration in Latin America and the Caribbean (from the 3rd- 5th May 2017 in Paraguay ) and is organized within the framework of the UNESCO initiative titled, Fostering the Role of the Judiciary in Promoting and Protecting Freedom of Expression in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the support of the Office for Transparency and Access to Public Information of the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, and the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The right to seek and receive information as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a clear basis for regulating the media market. Article 19 underpins the notion of media diversity as well as the demand to prevent media concentration and ownership.

Media Concentration and Ownership and Freedom of Expression: International Standards and Implications for the Americas was written by Toby Mendel, Ángel Garcia Castillejo and Gustavo Gómez, three leading experts in the media regulation and issues related to freedom of expression. The publication presents how over the last 70 years, the promotion of international standards on freedom of expression has been fundamental for addressing challenges to media development.

In this context, this publication seeks to analyse current international standards and provide an overview of approaches adopted at the national level to implement these standards. The first part of the document defines media concentration and ownership and how they affect the free flow of information and ideas. The second part of the document explores the jurisprudence of leading international courts. In the third part, the authors explore anti-monopoly measures put in place by some established democracies around the world to mitigate and prevent media concentration and ownership and the impacts o these mechanisms. The fourth part describes the main trends in this Latin America and Caribbean. And, finally, the fifth section provides conclusions and recommendations to guide policy-makers on how to address media concentration and ownership in the region.

The main conclusions of this paper were debated among the authors during the International Seminar “Free and independent media in plural and diverse media systems” held in Bogotá from 18-19 November 2015, where journalists, academics, media managers and representatives from more than 25 countries from the Americas and Europe had the opportunity to discuss media development and freedom of expression.

This publication was supported by Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), CIMA (Center for International Media Assistance), DW Akademie, Observacom, FNPI, GFMD and the Government of Sweden. It represents UNESCO’s efforts in fostering the best practices and standards to ensure freedom of expression in diverse and pluralistic media environments.

This text is expected to strengthen the central discussion on media development in Latin America and the Caribbean.




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