Whatever the particular challenges of life in different parts of the world, people everywhere need pluralistic and independent media. Since its creation, UNESCO has sought to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image in the interest of international solidarity, democracy, peace and development.
The media can provide individuals and communities with information and ideas, with forums on which they can challenge and assess information; a resource that can help them gauge the efficiency of their politicians and help them exercise their democratic rights as voters.
The current edition of the UNESCO Courier looks at how UNESCO has been helping people around the world acquire the media that will meet their specific needs; learn about their problems and possible solutions; share experiences and opinions; and celebrate their culture.
This is why the Organization, through its Communication and Information Sector along with its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), supports a wide range of media projects all over the world.
The Courier in this issue examines some of these projects, like the training Palestinian television reporter Lana Shaheen received to help her contend with the challenges of working in a context of political instability, material hardship and gender stereotyping.
Other programmes help geographically scattered communities, like those of the Caribbean islands, pool know-how and resources. While some training workshops, for example, assist journalists - in this instance in Mongolia - gain awareness of important issues of democratic governance. Meanwhile, in Cape Verde UNESCO has helped the authorities design the legislative framework that is indispensable for free and independent public and private media.