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Enabling Freedom of Expression in All Media and Social Communication Platforms

Safety training for journalists delivered by Maan Network in Gaza City in October 2012. © Maan Network

Since 2012, UNESCO has partnered with Canal France International (CFI) to support the media’s role in democracy, development and dialogue in the following countries transitioning from or affected by conflict: Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, Libya, Liberia and Palestine.

The goal of the partnership is to promote the creation of an environment that allows for freedom of expression through legislation and professional self-regulatory mechanisms for both media and social communication platforms.

With financial support from CFI, UNESCO has implemented a wide range of media development activities in cooperation with national authorities and local actors. The partnership reflects both organizations’ commitment to freedom of expression and democracy.

Overview of Activities

Côte d’Ivoire: UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs) were used to produce a comprehensive analysis of the country’s media landscape. Following a national consultation on media law reform, activities focused on capacity-building efforts in areas such as safety of journalists, public service broadcasting, media sustainability, gender-sensitive reporting, journalistic ethics and self-regulation.

Myanmar: UNESCO provided technical advice on establishing a regulatory and legal framework for the media that meets international standards and best practices, as requested by the Government of Myanmar. In the framework of the cooperation between UNESCO and CFI, the first World Press Freedom Day celebration in Myanmar took place in 2012 with the theme “Challenges to Media in a New Environment”.  

Libya: On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2013, UNESCO supported a two-day workshop to discuss the current press freedom situation in Libya and ways of transforming the state broadcaster into a public service broadcaster. Activities have been carried out throughout 2013 as a follow-up to recommendations made during the workshop.

Liberia: UNESCO assisted the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) in re-establishing television services; supported the authorities in transforming the state media into editorially independent public broadcasting services, in line with internationally-recognized standards; and provided support for the celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2012 in Monrovia.

Palestine: UNESCO trained journalists on safety issues and conflict-sensitive reporting, including in the coverage of elections.  UNESCO and CFI also facilitated dialogue to exchange views and experiences between Palestinian journalists and bloggers during World Press Freedom Day 2012 celebrations in the West Bank and in Gaza. An assessment based on Media Development Indicators was also launched in Palestine, which is being finalized. 

Development partner

Canal France International

CFI implents the French policy of development aid in favor of Southern media for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. It provides assistance to public or private players in the media sector with a view to reinforcing the modernisation and democratisation process supported by France.

Project timeline

February 2012 February 2013


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