Many information sources are available in Latin America: mobile phones, for example, are popular, and studies show that social networks play a major role in everyday life. Yet obtaining information can be extremely difficult. Even in the digital age, entire population groups are practically excluded from voicing their needs and concerns. This is especially true for those living in rural areas and indigenous groups.
The hindrances are many. Media monopolies, for example, limit diversity. In areas where only a few companies own the majority of TV and radio stations, minorities face challenges in making their voices heard. Civil society organizations often complain of "deaf states" where governments are reluctant to release information. In addition, journalism in many Latin American countries is a dangerous profession. Critical media workers are put under pressure or attacked, with dramatic consequences for freedom of expression.
In response, DW Akademie supports networks enabling all to access information. We support community radio stations, local journalist networks and online activists, and advocate the right of the indigenous population to freedom of expression and information. Together with partners we develop innovative training approaches and advise alternative media on creating sustainable financing models. We promote social dialogues – for example, in coming to terms with the horrors of recent civil wars – and support those who are helping young people develop a critical approach to the media.