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24 Apr 2008 - 28 Dec 2011
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Why media matters
Development-focused organisations have recognised the powerful role the media plays, now more than ever, in the developing world. We believe media can inspire and support individuals and transform societies.
If poverty reduction and strengthening human rights depend on empowering individuals and communities, the media can help put people at the centre of their own development, by sharing information and offering spaces where citizens can participate.
Mass media – be it radio, television or the internet – can provide a relatively cheap and effective way of reaching and connecting people at scale. From citizen journalists and bloggers, to participatory radio and TV formats, to the many millions of people connecting ideas through social media, the power of the media touches us all in unprecedented ways. For even the most remote and marginalised person, their media choices are evolving, with radio or – increasingly – mobile phones providing ways of accessing ideas, information and people.
The rapid proliferation and assimilation of new ways of communicating has created both opportunities and threats, and the media can fracture and diminish as well as link and inform. In rapidly changing times, reliable, accessible and trusted media sources are needed to help people make informed choices about their lives.
Making informed choices
  • Media enables people to hold their governments to account and provides a critical check on government corruption
  • Media and communication enables people and communities to understand, debate and reach decisions on the issues that confront them
  • Media enables people to understand the risks they face, such as from HIV and AIDS, and the steps they can take to protect themselves
  • Media and communication can be immense and powerful instruments for change and empowerment in society
  • The character of a country's media tends to determine the character of a country's democracy and society. It underpins how people learn, understand and shape change.
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BBC Media Action (the new name for the BBC World Service Trust) is registered in England & Wales under company number 03521587 and charity number 1076235.
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