19 October 2009

Local Media as Development

I just read a good paper by Charlie Beckett, Director of Polis at the LSE (and IDS Trustee) on networked news for developing countries. The paper argues that the media are often wrongly engaged by NGOs and others in development. The "media about development" mindset can be extractive, feeding communication from country programmes to donor newsrooms. The "media for development" mindset seeks to build local media capability, but often in ways that are overly technically focused and in isolation from society. He argues that networked journalism--engaging with local media as development actors--can blend both of these. Engaging with local media in a "continual conversation" between NGOs and the communities they seek to empower will allow NGOs and others to integrate their programme and media work and improve their accountability to the communities they seek to support, as well as to the donors.

This approach resonates with me given the shift in our Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D) programme towards greater capacity development of knowledge intermediaries--more on this as it develops.

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