Friday, August 18, 2006

UNESCO and Local Content in the Media

Source: UNESCO

The UNESCO program for Creative Content is aimed at boosting the production and dissemination of local content in both the traditional and new media in the most disadvantaged communities of the developing world by training content creators, supporting local content production and enhancing content distribution channels.

Local Content and ICT

ICT and the Internet have had a tremendous impact on content creation and distribution processes. UNESCO has launched two recent international ventures with the objective of providing marginalized communities such as indigenous peoples with access to ICTs.
The Organization is currently producing a set of best practices in media production in topics related to the Millennium Development Goals in order to demonstrate in very concrete ways the potential of development communication in today's societies.

Producing Local Content

UNESCO provides seed funding for media content production in television, radio and new media in developing communities, such as documentary, fiction, outdoor tele-magazines and other kinds of programming within the framework of public service broadcasting.

Distributing Local Content

UNESCO participates in the distribution and exchange of local content by showcasing local productions at the international level through various fora and festivals. Through partnership with school networks and broadcasting associations worldwide, it helps to strengthen alternative distribution channels.

Why is this program important?

Radio, television, the Internet and other electronic media have enormous potential to enhance social and economic development programs. While the information infrastructure grew slowly in developing nations during most of the 20th century, the penetration of these media into even the poorest countries has grown exponentially in the last decade. Unfortunately, the growth of content has not kept pace.

While there is a great deal of media content available from the North, there is also a huge need for content in the South. That Southern content has to be specific to developing country problems, such as those of tropical medicine and tropical agriculture. It must also be in languages that the target populations understand, culturally accessible, on media to which they have access, targetted to the right messages, and in a format which will be interesting and intelligable to the target audience. The UNESCO program is setting precedents and demonstrating how to build this kind of local content.

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