Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

The Role of Media-support Organizations and Public Literacy in Strengthening Independent Media Worldwide

Ann Olson

February 2008

National Endowment for Democracy


Building independent media in developing countries requires more than freedom of speech, skilled journalists, or strong business management skills. Enabling independent media to perform the crucial roles of being a watchdog over government and educating people about the issues that affect their lives also requires supporting organizations such as trade unions and professional associations for journalists, and a public educated about these roles and responsibilities of media and their function in a democratic and open society.