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Strengthening Freedom of Expression in Radio, TV, and Schools of Journalism

Year when project approved: 

The Dominican Republic's issues regarding freedom of expression no longer revolve around government censorship. It is of a new kind of restraint that journalists and editors complain about: the dictatorship of publicity and of the owners of media enterprises, who are often business people involved in other types of activities at the same time. In this context, a process of self-censorship has flourished. News gathering and publishing are headed towards a comfortable, light vision of reality. Conflict is avoided and good journalism is dying. Closely related to this problem, is the academic level of journalists and journalism students. Dominicans have profound deficiencies in comprehensive reading and good writing, obstacles that make teaching critical thinking and ethics a difficult task. Besides, the subject of freedom of expression and free access to information is not taught as part of the curricula, even though some universities discuss the topic in workshops and as a part of their other journalism courses. It is well known that in the Dominican Republic, first television and then radio are the main sources of information for the general public. Also, it has been established that if there is a law that supports journalists in their quest for public information, media workers do not feel empowered and do not even know about their legal rights. It is urgent to put forward mechanisms to detect these more subtle forms of censorship and selfcensorship, and to come up with tools that will help journalists and academics to improve the perception (and the reality) of the media in the Dominican Republic by helping it recover its credibility. The project aims to train 80 journalists in the legal framework that protects and regulates the use of freedom of expression and press in the Dominican Republic, emphasising the special features of television and radio journalism and to train 20 lecturers in journalism in teaching the freedom of expression and of the press, and free access to public information. By strengthening the knowledge of journalists and lecturers in journalism on press freedom issues and free access to public information, we intend to help practising and future journalists work more freely, thus contributing to the free flow of information.

Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nº: 

Implementation status :

Project evaluated:

Project scope:

IPDC Priority:

Budget code: 
354 DOM 5061

Source of funds:

Beneficiary name: 
Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Beneficiary description: 
Beneficiary address: 
Santo Domingo

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary phone: 
Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Andrew Radolf, a.radolf@unesco.org;

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

María Isabel SOLDEVILA, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Communication, Democracy and Good Governance,

Project place: 
Santo Domingo
Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 

100% of the foreseen activities in the work-plan were implemented by the beneficiary. The financial and technical reports were submitted to UNESCO/SJO.

Summary of the project evaluation: 
Achieved outputs: