UNESCO convenes an expert meeting to assess media development in Member States
During one of its last meetings the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) stressed the need for a standardized framework for assessing media development levels in UNESCO Member States. In this context, professionals working in the area of media development were called upon to identify and put together a core set of indicators.
This initiative has contributed to the growing demand for comparable policy-relevant statistics on print (newspaper) and broadcast (radio and television) media. In response to this, UNESCO's Institute of Statistics (UIS) has initiated a review of its existing surveys to address critical areas in which data are missing or coverage is sparse. UIS sought to validate the results of this review by convening an expert group meeting from 1 to 4 April 2009 in New Delhi, India, with 21 participants from 10 countries.
This expert group meeting to discuss a universal questionnaire on gathering standardized and comparable media statistics was organized in cooperation with UNESCO's Communication Development Division and New Delhi Office. Its main objective was to approve the proposed standardized media questionnaire and a user manual for the next UIS media survey; and to discuss in depth issues related to data availability, the merging of newspaper and broadcast statistics, and the frequency required to conduct such surveys. The experts also reviewed concepts and definitions in order to make the data collected cross-border comparable.
The experts identified the most reliable national media statistic sources, as well as international and/or regional professional organizations active in the area of collection of media statistics.
Participants included a wide spectrum of media experts and country specialists ranging from data providers and data users to researchers. They represented national, regional and international organizations working in the field.
The meeting recommended a wide array of tasks for operationalization of the UIS media (newspaper, radio and television broadcasting) survey at the regional and country levels. Among other things recommendations include:
- division of labor in data collection and analysis;
- bridging data gaps in order to enumerate indicators as defined in UNESCO's publication Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development;
- partnership with different stakeholders for gathering data from different sources;
- capacity building of national focal points responsible for data collection and analysis; and
- other operational or procedural considerations.
The meeting report and recommendations, as well as its agenda and list of participants can be found in the PDF document below.
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