Media and Governance: Perspectives from Research & Policy at the BBC World Service Trust
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Media and Governance: Perspectives from Research & Policy at the BBC World Service Trust

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How the current research agenda in communication and media might engage with state building (human rights & representation) ...

How the current research agenda in communication and media might engage with state building (human rights & representation)
Effective States and the Media: a research dialogue across disciplines
Presentation by Professor Robin Mansell, London School of Economics
Presentation & discussion on how media and communication research is contributing to research dialogue on effective and fragile states

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  • To improve governance and uphold human rights, we increase understanding , change behaviour , and foster shifts in norms and policy through audience participation and engagement at all levels.
  • Looking at the impact of Sanglaps on political discourse (Jacobsen, Habermas- public sphere etc)
  • Providing information, opportunity & space for discussion 50 programmes by 15 stations Live reporting from more than 20 localities on election day. Daily live national programmes for 10 weeks during and after the elections Broadcasts of live candidate debates
  • We cannot have a serious conversation about this issue until you accept that a free media can sometimes present a massive threat to human rights
  • We cannot have a serious conversation about this issue until you accept that a free media can sometimes present a massive threat to human rights

Transcript

  • 1. Dr Gerry Power Director of Research and Knowledge Management Media and Governance: Perspectives from Research & Policy at the BBC World Service Trust Institute of Development Studies January 2009 Dr Gerry Power Director of Research & Knowledge Management James Deane Head of Policy R & L
  • 2.
    • International NGO established by the BBC in 1999
    • Distribution: 182 million through BBC World Service in 43 different languages and 270 million homes through BBC World TV.
    • Working with media systems in over 40 developing and transitional countries
    • Global team of 52 research professionals delivering qualitative and quantitative research specialising in hard-to-reach populations
  • 3. BBCWST Governance Strategy Julius Court, ODI Briefing Paper March 2006 The Four Levels of Engagement Government Ministry TV Channel or Radio Station Media Practitioners/Journalists Audience System Organization Practitioner Individual Development Communications Media Development
  • 4. Theoretical Foundations Promoting dialogue in Bangladesh AIM: To encourage and facilitate a change in the country’s political culture through increased transparency and accountability , and by ensuring that ordinary people have access to information and to discussion of governance issues
    • Habermas & the public sphere
      • State authority publicly monitored
      • Informed and critical discourse by citizenry
    • Democratic Legitimacy
      • Requiring meaningful opportunities to be heard and responded to by government and political officials (Jacobson, 2007)
      • Citizenry must believe government is taking account of their interests (Weber)
      • Increased citizen willingness to accept compromise if they believe their interests have at least been considered through discourse. (Jacobson 2007)
    • Media and Communicative Action (Habermas 1984, 1987)
      • Providing ‘space’ for dialogue and discourse
      • Reaching understanding ’by speaking plainly and ‘justifying’ viewpoints
      • Distribution of opportunities to contribute
  • 5. AIM: To increase participation by giving Sierra Leonean citizens a voice, providing platforms for political campaigning, giving credible information on the elections and helping citizens hold their elected representatives to account. An informed citizenry: Sierra Leone
    • BBCWST survey
    • March 2007
    • Only 25% of women and 36% of men report having a high level of knowledge about the electoral process
    • Only 26% of respondents felt strongly that their views are reflected in political discussions
    • Only 17% of respondents report a high degree of trust in national politicians
  • 6. We know a good deal about
    • The changing character of the media in many developing countries (numbers of media actors, reach, audiences etc)
    • Public opinion, perception and trust levels in specific countries in which we work
    • The impact of our particular programming – on systems and governance, behaviours, attitudes etc.
  • 7. We know quite a bit about
    • Plurality and ownership of media systems (issues of political, commercial, religious capture etc.);
    • Elections and under what conditions media underpin informed, inclusive, peaceful elections, or undermine them?
    • The interaction between evolving media and communication systems and the political settlement in specific countries where we have done research;
    • Theoretical frameworks around media and citizenship
  • 8. We know too little about e.g.
    • The answers to many of the questions raised, but not probed, in much democratic development literature.
      • Neopatrimonialism: whether a free media is a destructive disrupter to neopatrimonial systems (Khan?) or a constructive one (Cammack?)
      • The Sequencing Debate: Under what conditions, and to what extent, liberalised media systems (and associated communication changes resulting from democratic and economic reform) contribute to state fragility (Putzel?) or are essential to democratic evolution in bottom billion countries (Collier?).
      • Accountability: The impact of changing media systems on accountability under different political cultures (Besley, Burgess, Prat in India but what about talk shows in Uganda).
      • Drivers of change: Whether media and communication shifts are substantial, significant or merely minor factors as a driver of change (Govnet)?
      • Whether media functions in occasionally fostering conflict are a product of regulatory, economic, political or other failure, or an absence of engagement and support.
      • Is Amartya Sen still right (no democratic society with a free media has experienced a famine – but what are the 21 st century incentives and disincentives to a free media investigating famine related issues?)
  • 9. Factors in our ignorance
    • The research is not there;
    • The research that is there is not based on data (especially on information and communication needs and realities of people living in poverty); much research is anecdote.
    • Some research is there, but is published in isolation and not subject to critical scrutiny or debate;
      • Why templates for media development do not work in crisis states (LSE)
      • Sealed discourses on technology, media (e.g. mobile telephony)
    • There is a disconnect between media/communication researchers and core development disciplines – sometimes for good reasons.
      • “ We cannot have a serious conversation about this issue until you accept that a free media can sometimes present a massive threat to human rights”
    • Very little research on media is originated from the mainstream development community.
  • 10. What is the ICD Research and Advocacy Programme?
  • 11. The literature on GSDRC
    • Sources of first 20 finds for “civil society”
    • GSDRC Topic Guide
    • European Journal of Development Research
    • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
    • London School of Economics (LSE)
    • Development and Change
    • IDS Civil Society and Governance Policy Brief no. 7,
    • International Political Science Review
    • UNDP
    • Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
    • SGTS Associates, 2000
    • Overseas Development Institute, London
    • ActionAid
    • Politics of Development Group, Stockholm University
    • Sources of first 20 finds for “media”
    • Internews/Global Forum for Media Development
    • United States Institute of Peace (written by Internews)
    • World Learning for International Development
    • Dfid (written by BBC World Service Trust)
    • National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
    • USAID
    • World Bank Institute
    • Dfid/Amarc
    • UNDP
  • 12. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR WORK, CONTACT: (Research and Learning Group) BBC World Service Trust www.bbcworldservicetrust.org [email_address] +44 207 557-0509 R L &