Freedom of the media

Freedom of the media

This Module focuses on the written press, radio and television broadcasting. The resources are organized according to the two principles that govern Media regulation -diversity and pluralism - and their meaning as applied to different mediums. The Module also includes readings that critically assess the role of the Media and of press freedom in contemporary societies and the digital challenges to the traditional Media business model.

7 items found, showing 1 - 7

Media Ownership

Author: IACmHR
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In October 2000, following debates among different civil society organizations, and in support of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights approved the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression. The Declaration constitutes a basic document for interpreting Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In light of the importance of these principles, the Commission also published an interpretation of the principles set forth in the Declaration.

OAS, IACmHR. Background and Interpretation of the Declaration of Principles. 108th regular period of sessions. 2-20 October 2000

Author: IACmHR, Catalina Botero Marino
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“This publication shows the guidelines that have been developed by the Inter-American Court and the Inter-American Commission and the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, regarding the need for an adequate regulation of the radioelectric spectrum to ensure free, independent, vigorous, plural, and diverse broadcasting, to insure, as a result, the greatest circulation of information and opinions.”

OAS, IACmHR, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero. Freedom of Expression Standards for Free and Inclusive Broadcasting. OEA/Ser.L/V/II. CIDH/RELE/INF. 3/09. 30 December 2009

Author: Open Society Foundations, Marius Dragomir and Mark Thompson (eds)
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“The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by new and digital media. Covering 56 countries, the project assesses how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide – news about political, economic, and social affairs – and how they can help advance open society values. The Mapping Digital Media research confirms that digital television and the internet have had a radical impact on media businesses, journalists, and citizens at large. As might be expected, platforms distributing journalism have proliferated, media companies are revamping their operations, and citizens have access to a cornucopia of news and information sources. Other findings were less foreseeable: digitization has brought no pressure to reform state broadcasters, less than one-third of countries found that digital media have helped to expand the social impact of investigative journalism, and digitization has not significantly affected total news diversity. The Global Findings reveal other common themes across the world: 1) Governments and politicians have too much influence over who owns, operates, and regulates the media, 2.) Many media markets are rife with monopolistic, corrupt, or untransparent practices, 3) It’s not clear where many governments and other bodies get their evidence for changes or updates to laws and policies on media and communication, 4) Media and journalism online offer hope of new, independent sources of information, but are also a new battleground for censorship and surveillance, 5) Data about the media worldwide are still uneven, unstandardized, and unreliable, and are often proprietary rather than freely accessible. The 16 chapters in this report provide a unique survey of thematic and geographical trends, and provide new insight into how the information and communications revolution is shaping the new landscape of media and journalism.” 

Open Society Foundations, Marius Dragomir and Mark Thompson (eds). “Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings”. 2014.  

Author: UNESCO, Toby Mendel
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"This book explores the legal and regulatory systems governing public service broadcasters in eight different countries around the world, looking at the services they provide, the way in which their mandates are defined, their internal governance systems, mechanisms of oversight or accountability and funding. In selecting the various countries, an attempt has been made to ensure wide geographic representation, while including only countries that have a strong commitment to public service broadcasting. Special emphasis has been placed on the strategies that have evolved over the years to ensure that public service broadcasters are not undermined by two critical phenomena: external control (political or other), particularly over editorial output, and inadequate public funding. The book outlines tested approaches to resolving these key problems, but it also highlights innovative systems that are being piloted in different countries to address some of the new challenges that face public service broadcasters."

UNESCO, Toby Mendel. Public service broadcasting: a comparative legal survey. ISBN: 978-92-3-104204-1. May 2011.

Author: Council of Europe
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Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member States on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership.

Council of Europe, Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)1 of the Committee of Ministers [of the Council of Europe] to member States on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership, 7 March 2018.

Author: UNESCO, Marius Dragomir
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“This study assesses the challenges, and the opportunities, for journalism today. It dovetails with the 2020 theme of World Press Freedom Day (“Journalism without Fear or Favour”), an annual calendar date that commemorates and celebrates the universal human right to expression in the public arena. Without press freedom, it is impossible to envisage editorial independence in the media, and without editorial independence as an essential enabler of professional standards, journalism cannot thrive. These are not “nice to haves”. Society depends on journalism for the vibrancy of democracy and informed responses to crises.  Without journalism, a huge gap exists in holding states accountable for realizing their commitment to achieving progress in the areas covered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report provides a structured way of understanding the contemporary context of journalism in terms   of trends in editorial independence and professional standards. Each analysis constitutes the source of targeted recommendations at the end of the study. The report as a whole serve as a starting point for debate among and between governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, media actors, academics, internet   companies   and   other   stakeholders.   Such  discussions are key if independent journalism and its outputs are to persist and flourish as a matter of public good. The present report explores the above-mentioned themes and identifies relevant patterns and recent trends in how they have manifested themselves across the globe. It also seeks to give a sense of the responses from international and regional organizations, national governments, and other actors. While each of these three themes has its own distinctive dynamics and drivers, the interplay between them in relation to elections is particularly powerful.”

UNESCO, Marius Dragomir. “Reporting Facts: Free from Fear or Favour”. 2020.

Author: IACmHR, Edison Lanza
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“This publication presents a revision of the evolution that the transition from analog to digital free-to-air television has had in the hemisphere, given that several countries are in full transition and others have not even begun this process which involves a deep technological change and decision-making can affect the right to freedom of expression. The role of media in a democratic society implies that any decision on the transition to digital television must observe the guarantees related to the exercise of freedom of expression, legal certainty and the promotion of diversity principles and pluralism in all platforms.” 

OAS, IACmHR, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanza. Transition to a Diverse, Plural, and Inclusive Free-To-Air Digital Television. OAS/Ser.L/V/II. CIDH/RELE/INF.13/15. 9 March 2015