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UNESCO Assists Democratic Republic of the Congo to Draw up Directives for National Press

19-04-2005 (Paris)
UNESCO has recently supported a workshop on directives on national press by the Ministry of Press and Information in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This workshop, which was held in Kinshasa from 18 to 21 January 2005, brought together media professionals, and aimed to promote independent and pluralistic media in the country.
At the end of the workshop, a drafting committee was established to further enrich the directive plan by incorporating the resolutions and recommendations arising from this meeting. The Committee’s work led to the approval of this directive plan by all of the media professions.

The final document reflects the pros and cons that should be taken into account not only in restructuring of the media, but also adequate orientations and strategies to be followed.

The Plan describes four essential components which between them preserve dynamic relations within a coherent and systemic perspective. The first component concerns the institutional mechanism, the second and the third concerns the support lent respectively to the written and audiovisual press; whilst the fourth component is related to adapting new information and communication technologies within the Congolese media network.

Regarding the institutional mechanism, the directive plan sets out two immediate objectives: reinforcement of the institutional capacity of MPI’s and the improvement of the legislative environment of the national press. The main result of such an objective would be the updating and publication of regulatory laws and texts referring primarily to the universal right to information and freedom of expression.

As far as support to the audiovisual press (both public and private) is concerned, the major objective is to improve the national coverage, which until now has been very limited due to a lack of technical resources, and a well conceived and closely followed plan of investment . Among the strategic actions which are foreseen, are the modernisation (through digital technology) of the national telecommunications network and the training of qualified personnel.

Support to the written press is needed not only for increasing facilities for publication but also for improving the distribution mechanisms and strengthening the public’s interest in reading newspapers.

Furthermore, within the field of ICT the aim here is to maximise integration of ICT not only into the operational systems of the national press but to reach out to the population as a whole. Reinforcement of the technological capacities of the National Telecommunication System through satellite is a fundamental strategy.

Moreover, the directive plan mentions training at all levels and media education as a global strategy for the optimal adaptation of ICT within the framework of access to information to obtain knowledge and as a way to arrive at a prosperous and law-abiding state.
Related themes/countries

      · Training of Media Professionals: News Archives 2005
      · Freedom of Expression: News Archives 2005
      · Congo (Democratic Republic): News Archive
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