Media and ICTs

The OSISA media programme promotes the development of more open, just and democratic societies, where those in power are accountable to those they serve. Freedom of expression is a pre-requisite for an independent and free media. As such, the Media programme works at regional, national and community levels, to ensure access to media. The programme also works to improve the quality of journalism and reporting. Lastly, the programme is strongly involved in work to protect the rights of journalists and media workers, as well as media operations that are under threat.

As such, OSISA supports initiatives that promote advocacy, networking and capacity-building in the following areas:

1. Increasing access to community radio and print media. OSISA supports radio and print media initiatives that provide a voice to people who do not otherwise have easy access to the media and/or are marginalised by the existing media, in particular women and young people, and that are accountable to the communities that they seek to support. The foundation also works to support initiatives that promote more democratic and just societies.

2. Providing institutional support to media and advocacy organisations. In recent years there have been significant threats to the media. A number of states have sought to introduce mechanisms such as media tribunals and registers of journalists, which have the potential to undermine the ability of the media to fulfil its crucial role in democratic societies. The OSISA media programme channels its support into the work of national and regional bodies that support the role of the media to hold those in authority and power accountable to the people they are supposed to serve. This includes support to initiatives that challenge laws, policies and other barriers that inhibit freedom of expression and association. The programme also supports efforts to promote professionalism and ethical standards among mainstream media workers.

3. Promoting experiments and supporting emergency responses. The media programme recognises the need to explore new approaches to achieving open societies. Therefore, a portion of the programme’s resources is targeted at innovative projects that seek to expand the role and positive influence of the media. In addition, the programme supports media workers who are under threat because of their work in exposing corruption or the abuse of power.

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