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Tuesday

What is media viability and how is it relevant to foreign policy?

Hosted by International Programme for the Development of Communication, UNESCO
Monday, June 22 / Pumpenhaus

Professionally sound journalism provides societies with reliable information that serves the public interest and constitutes an important foundation for peaceful foreign relations. For journalism to play such a role, it must be practiced freely and independently, and serve the needs of all groups in society. Additionally, it requires viable economic models for journalism. In an age of economic challenges to sustainable journalism, vulnerabilities arise, often exacerbated by the proliferation of non-journalistic information in cyberspace. Economic pressures can compromise the integrity of journalism, sometimes resulting in paid-for propaganda being circulated in the guise of news. Financial constraints may also lead media outlets to take safety shortcuts, undeniably weakening the ability of journalists to undertake quality foreign coverage. This workshop will report on the work by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and DW Akademie to develop indicators to measure media viability, and discuss the significance of this work for the role of journalism in nourishing international relations based on reliable and comprehensive information. The viability indicators under discussion are part of a larger UNESCO/IPDC framework for assessing national media ecosystems – the Media Development Indicators (MDIs).

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