Assessment of media development in Ecuador

Ecuador was the first country in Latin America to apply UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs). In 2011, the year the report was completed, there were referendums underway in Ecuador with questions directly focusing on media. The study presents a comprehensive assessment of the state of media development in Ecuador and also a series of recommendations to be taken into account by relevant sectors to improve current conditions and construct a more independent, plural and participatory media platform.

The International Centre of Higher Studies in Communication for Latin America (CIESPAL) worked with UNESCO on the application of MDIs in Ecuador. The Report was enriched with contributions from specialists in international standards and from a consultative group comprised of representatives from the country’s different communication sectors.

The Assessment shows that freedom of expression in Ecuador is protected by the Constitution and legislation. However, prerequisites established in the Constitution imply that this right may be undermined. While there are laws to prevent concentration of media ownership, the media does not adequately reflect the diversity of society. The public and private media have modern technical facilities to gather, produce and distribute news. The community sector, by contrast, lacks the infrastructure for optimal use of ICTs.

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This assessment is based on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs), which were endorsed in 2008 by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). MDIs, which cover all aspects of media development, define a framework within which the media can best contribute to, and benefit from, good governance and democratic development. They are being applied in various countries worldwide to identify their specific needs in view of guiding the formulation of media-related policies and improving the targeting of media development efforts.

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