I s s u e  9   -   D E C E M B E R  ,  1 9 9 9


Supporting Greater Independence of the Media  



Supporting Greater Independence of the Media

  This issue of our newsletter is the last in this millenium and marks at the same time the middle point of the project, which is expected to expire June 30, 2001. Both of these occurrences invite to reflect on the project, its progress, and whether we are on right track in relation to the ultimate ‘End of Project’ scenario.

  The project is in the midst of implementation of the two important components in support of the so-called “Independent Press” and support the establishment of Community Radio Stations: Our part of the training component aimed at journalists and editors is finalized for now, leaving only the components aimed at the community radios, i.e, the management training courses on “How to start a Community Radio” and “Reporting for the Community Radio”. Finally we are initiating the equipment component with Radio Mozambique and study of the journalism and communication educations.

  All this  is well. But an important final question to the successful reach of the core goals is whether the project has been able to assist in establishment a greater independence in the media? This is a very difficult question to answer. First of all because the UNESCO project is only one of many actors in this. Secondly because ‘independence’ is very vague term, which can mean anything ranging from economic and political independence within the thinking of the individual journalism.

  In two of its five components, the project aims to strengthen specifically the so-called “independent press”. These media are in Windhoek Declaration defined as “a press independent from government, political or economical control, or from control of materials and infrastructure essential for the production and dissemination of newspapers, magazines and periodicals”. To meet this aim, three experimental Communication Centres are being set up in Beira, Chimoio and Tete.

In spite of changes in funding commitment of the project, its decision to anyhow develop a system for support to purchase of paper for the print media is another measure to overcome the material stumbling block in media production. Finally the printing press component has become outdated as the monopoly situation on the print scene in Maputo is changing. For the provinces Copy Printers will be installed in the communication centres to meet the needs up to A3-size here.

  Through development and strengthening of the human and technological capacity of the sector, a much strengthening independence of the media can only be seen as we are moving in the right direction. Among our remaining challenges is to ensure the needed national impact of advances in order to be able to arrive at the overall aims of the project, which are for the media to contribute to a strengthening of the national democracy and good governance.


Approaching the end of this year,
the project wishes to express our gratefulness
for the good and usually very constructive collaboration
we have had with our many different
partners, stakeholders and participants:
through your support, work and energy
the project is now on track
in its many different components.

As we wrote in our first issue of this newsletter:
Only together can we succeed!
And the recent Norwegian review of the project
   while alerting us to a number of continually difficult and
sensitive activity areas –
assessed the project’s activities until date as a success.

This is because we have worked together!

We look forward to continue this
close, constructive and effective collaboration
in the new year.

We wish you a wonderful holiday period
a challenging and successful new year:

Media Development Project c/o UNESCO, P.O.Box 1397 Maputo, Mozambique
Tel. + 258.1. 498752/ 490840 Fax +258.1.498717
E-mail: unesco@mediamoz.com