UNESCO releases three publications analyzing media regulation and freedom of expression in Brazil
The UNESCO Office in Brasilia, in partnership with Ford Foundation, launches today three studies about the Brazilian media system. The papers aim to contribute to the ongoing debate in the Brazilian society about the role of the communications industry in strengthening democracy in the country. Compared regulatory law and practices, freedom of expression and self-regulation are the central components of the three most recent volumes of the Communication and Information Debates Series.
The first study, <a target=_blank href="http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001916/191622E.pdf">The Regulatory Environment for Broadcasting: An International Best Practice Survey for Brazilian Stakeholders</a>, written by international experts, Toby Mendel and Eve Salomon, is an investigation of the current regulatory situation of the Brazilian media system in comparison with current practices in ten other democracies (Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Jamaica, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States of America) and with recommendations of international law.
The second paper, <a target=_blank href="http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001916/191623E.pdf">Freedom of Expression and Broadcasting Regulation</a>, also by Mendel and Salomon, provides content for reflection on the centrality of regulation for the protection, promotion and guarantee of the right to receive, seek and impart information, ideas and opinions.
The third publication, written by Andrew Puddephatt, focuses on different angles of self-regulation applied to the media sector. <a target=_blank href="http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001916/191624E.pdf">The Importance of Self Regulation of the Media in Upholding Freedom of Expression</a> summarizes the intersections of the theme with the practice of journalism, the editorial principles and strategies for corporate social responsibility.
According to the Representative of UNESCO in Brazil, Vincent Defourny, "these studies can help the debate in the Brazilian society about the importance of regulation of the communications sector for the country's democracy." Although the texts focus more on traditional media, the core principles reaffirmed by the authors can be applied to new (or innovative) media, including the Internet.
For the Representative of Ford Foundation in Brazil, Ana Toni, "the goal of these important studies is to contribute to the public debate that gained weight last year in Brazil regarding media regulation and freedom of expression." The three publications bring regulatory and self-regulatory best practices from other countries that seek to strengthen freedom of expression and to guarantee the development of a pluralistic and democratic media.
Toby Mendel and Eve Salomon state that "freedom of expression may form the cornerstone of broadcasting regulation in democratic societies and the question of whether or not a given regulatory approach is legitimate will often depend on an assessment of its impact on freedom of expression." Bearing this idea in mind, the authors sought to "give Brazilian regulators a better understanding of how the complex matter of broadcast regulation is dealt with in countries around the world."
"It is important to recognise the dual character of the media and its implications," recalls Andrew Puddephatt, "Firstly it permits the free exchange of ideas and opinions necessary in a democracy. Secondly it is a social actor, who's choices about whether or how to cover events can also shape events. This dual character makes an effective form of self-regulation so essential."
The texts released today examine, in depth, the key elements for the media systems previously summarized in UNESCO's Media Development Indicators. For UNESCO, regulation and autoregulation of the media should lead to a free media system, independent, pluralistic and diverse.
About the authors
Toby Mendel is the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Democracy, a new human rights NGO that focuses on providing legal expertise regarding fundamental rights to democracy. For 12 years he was Senior Director for Law at ARTICLE 19, an international human rights NGO focusing on freedom of expression.
Eve Salomon has wealth of regulatory experience in both statutory and non-statutory bodies. A lawyer by training, she is currently the global Chairman of the RICS Regulatory Board, a Commissioner of the UK's Press Complaints Commission, the (statutory) Gambling Commission of Great Britain, and Chair of the UK's Internet Watch Foundation (an association which combats online child sexual abuse content).
Andrew Puddephatt is Director of Global Partners and Associates, an organization that promotes good governance, democracy and human rights. He is chair of CAADA, an organization that challenges domestic violence in the UK, and also Chair of the Danish-based International Media Support. He was formerly Director of ARTICLE 19.
The tree titles are available for download in English and Portuguese:
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31293&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">The Regulatory Environment for Broadcasting: An International Best Practice Survey for Brazilian Stakeholders</a>
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31295&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Freedom of Expression and Broadcasting Regulation </a>
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31296&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">The Importance of Self Regulation of the Media in Upholding Freedom of Expression</a>