Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

Independent Media's Vital Role in Development

Peter Graves

December 2007

National Endowment for Democracy


Independent media play a critical role in building and sustaining democracies, societies, and economies around the world. They provide citizens with the information necessary to make informed political and economic choices. Independent media give voice to women, youth, and minorities, along with dissident political opinions. They also improve communities by providing citizens with important information on health, the environment, and rural development, and help people prevent and respond to disasters.