The media’s contribution to the creation and sustaining of functioning democracies and their potential to serve as a catalyst for human development provide the justification for UNESCO’s media development efforts. Free, independent and pluralistic media empower citizens with information that enables them to make informed choices and actively participate in democratic processes. They can help enhance transparency and accountability, by facilitating dialogue between decision-makers and the rest of society and by exposing abuse of power. They also play a crucial role in improving the public’s understanding of current or emerging issues, events, priorities, and policy pronouncements and options.
However, what conditions are necessary to take full advantage of the democratic potential of the media and enhance their contribution to development? What policies should be elaborated in this respect? And how should media development assistance be targeted?