Strengthening community media is the focus of DW Akademie projects in Ecuador.
Large parts of Ecuador's population who live in rural areas have limited freedom of expression and access to information. Most of the country's private media report from an urban perspective for audiences in the country's two major cities, Quito and Guayaquil. As a result, little attention is paid to the needs of rural audiences, especially those of the indigenous population.
Reforms to the communications law in 2019 have actually strengthened the private media sector and made it more difficult for community media to be included in the allocation of frequencies. This means community media have to use new digital communications platforms to reach their audiences.
Our projects in Ecuador focus on strengthening community media. We advise CORAPE, a radio network comprising of 37 community media, on developing alternative business models to help them become financially independent of state funding. We also support training on innovative ways to use social media and digital tools to particularly encourage young people to connect and interact with the stations. In addition to training radio journalists we also train activists and representatives of indigenous groups are also being trained to produce digital content.
DW Akademie supports CORAPE in becoming a center of excellence for Ecuador's community media so that it can meet current and future training needs. The network advises organizations, indigenous groups and movements on producing their own content and making it available on digital platforms. CORAPE also coaches activists in applying for their own radio frequencies and setting up their community radio stations. The new and innovative radio formats will then be broadcast by other CORAPE member stations.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country Coordinator: Magnus Kossmann
Locations: Quito, Otavalo, Cuenca, Riobamba, Lago Agrio
Main Focus: Professionalization and viability of the media sector, civic engagement, participation of disadvantaged groups, participatory media formats and community media