UNESCO contributes to media development in Member States by strengthening free, independent and pluralistic media, and helping create the conditions necessary for the media to perform effectively.
UNESCO’s action is based on three elements:
- Supporting efforts to develop a diverse mix of public, private and community media;
- Improving the capacity of news media organizations to report on complex issues, and of journalism education institutes to offer public-interest-minded journalism education;
- Fostering media and information literacy to increase civic engagement in the development of media systems and information sources.
The development of community media is a priority for UNESCO. The organization fosters community media, particularly in LDCs, to give a voice to rural / marginalized communities and women’s groups. UNESCO also actively promotes the establishment of community media in post-conflict areas and disaster-prone / post-disaster environments, where they have a crucial role to play. UNESCO has played a unique, pioneering role in the growth and development of the community radio (CR) sector in Asia and Africa. The organization helps set up CR stations; vigorously supports the training of CR personnel; commissions CR-related studies; produces handbooks and manuals for practitioners; and also organizes major conferences and consultations on the subject of community media.