Assessment of media development in Gabon

Based on UNESCO's Media Development Indicators

The media landscape of Gabon has been liberalized since 1991. Nevertheless, it has evolved slowly caused by a media monopoly held since the 1980s. Today however the media is growing in its plurality and diversity. In 2010, the Gabonese authorities had expressed a desire to revise the current laws on media. This Report uses the Media Development Indicators (MDIs) to analyse the different aspects of the media environment in Gabon and make recommendations to aid the government improve the media laws to foster media development in a plural and diverse manner.

Initiated by UNESCO in partnership with UNDP, the assessment of media development in Gabon was published in 2013. The Gabon assessment was conducted by a team of 10 national experts in association with two international experts and UNESCO.

The findings of the Report show that there is a need for a regulatory framework for media development. It also highlights a need for a constitutional guarantee for the right to information and for that information to be made readily available to the public and journalists. Recommendations were made for a better system to identify cases of restriction and violations of freedom of expression and information, and for the removal of restrictions that inhibit the protection of sources. Further recommendations were to promote diversity of media, encourage the implementation of media in rural zones and put in place tax systems which give preference or advantages that will aid the development of media.

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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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