BUILDING FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA
By David Webster
Countries around the world that have recently emerged from authoritarian and totalitarian rule are discovering that a free political society cannot exist without free news media. Because democracy involves public debate and open decision-making, the free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information is essential. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television serve as both forums for debate and sources of information on which decisions can be based.
Building an open society is never easy. If the world's new democracies are to preserve and extend their newfound freedoms, institutions that reflect and sustain free communication must be developed in both the public and private sectors. These new institutions can impose a heavy burden of responsibility both on journalists and on politicians. A distinguished Polish editor (who was formerly with an underground newspaper) bemoaned the difficulties of the new liberalized system. "What's the problem?" he was asked. "After years of repression you are now free to publish." "Yes," he responded, "but now we are supposed to find out whether it's true or not."
Journalists, politicians, and officials must learn the difficult lessons of how to interact in a free, open society. Even within long-established democracies this interaction is a struggle. In the emerging democracies, it is both more difficult and more urgent.
The level of freedom and independence of the media depends on three main factors. The first is regulation; the second, the presence of able managers and the ability to be economically viable in the new market; and the third, the degree to which professionalism and responsibility are exercised.
Regulation of the Media
In authoritarian societies, the media are largely controlled by the state. As countries around the world begin to liberalize their political and economic systems, the task confronting them is how to pry loose the print and electronic media from the grip of the state. Karol Jakubowicz, chairman of the Polish Broadcasting Reform Committee, described the problem this way: "This is not a question of deregulation. We never had any regulations, just a man in the back room who told us what to do. Now we have to create a structure of law and regulation in which independent broadcasting, in both the public and the private sector, can be developed."
For the print media, the issue of regulation is simple. No regulation beyond the commonly accepted laws protecting copyrights and prohibiting libel and slander is necessary. Within these few guidelines, anyone who has the means to reproduce printed material should be allowed to do so. One country that has begun to free its print media is South Korea, described in a sidebar to this article.
For their part, radio and television broadcasting have special technical constraints. The potential number of radio and television channels is limited by the size of the frequency spectrum. Someone must therefore decide who may broadcast over which frequency. The result is necessarily a degree of regulation.
Although regulation of broadcasting is required, such control should be as limited as possible if it is to support free communication. Broadcasting works best when it promotes, rather than inhibits, the independence of public and private broadcasters. Requiring print or broadcast journalists to be licensed, for example, gives the state too large a role. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is the beacon: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of the press."
A note issued by the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting concerning broadcasting in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union is a good example of how to approach the problem of regulation and is summarized in a sidebar to this article.
Points drawn from a draft outline of an ideal regulatory law, written by the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting, also follow this paper. This draft would have to be adapted for specific countries, but it does give examples of subjects to be addressed and suggests solutions.
Political control of the content of programming not only stifles liberty, but can also create farce. For example, when the German government was pressing for the diplomatic recognition of Croatia, Croatian television authorities banned films about the First and Second World Wars in which Germany was shown in a bad light.
It is not easy to escape old biases favoring state control. Although Albania is attempting to liberalize its media, the 1991 debates surrounding a media law were based on the assumption that all media need to be regulated and that freedom of speech is something bestowed by the state to those who deserve it. The resulting draft law attempted to regulate everything, including magazines and books. It also required all activities to be licensed by the state, even though that license would be freely given. This draft has now been set aside, and new ones are being discussed. It is not yet clear, however, whether the final law will recognize that in an open democratic society, freedom of speech and press is a birthright, not something that comes with a permit issued by a ministry.
Management and the Media
The freedom to report and to express an opinion is only one link in the chain of communication in the written press and in the broadcast media. The other vital links are printing and distribution in regard to the print media and the acquisition of transmission facilities in regard to the broadcast media. These constraints involve economic more than political issues.
In some countries, printing plants are controlled by the state. The government can easily kill a publication through arbitrary pricing, claims of insufficient printing capacity, or scheduling difficulties. State management of the supply of newsprint can also create problems. In Uruguay, for instance, policies designed to protect domestic paper companies significantly raised the price of paper, making it difficult for small newspapers to survive. Mexico's state paper company, on the other hand, no longer has monopoly status. It is now trying to compete in the market by improving quality and adjusting prices.
In addition, the state often has a monopoly on distribution through the post office and through control of newsstands. Here, inefficiency, lack of capacity, or a straightforward refusal to distribute can also destroy the right to communicate, and thus effectively act as indirect censorship.
Once these restraints are removed, an even bigger problem looms for the print media, born not of state control but of the free market. There are more publications than the new markets can sustain, and there are too few managers with the skills to run profitable newspapers and magazines. Many publications are accustomed to operating with state or party subsidies. They may be unable to compete effectively in a new market system, even though they embrace democratic values. Some publications will survive by using sensationalism and other unattractive techniques used in the West. Others will adapt to the market. Still others, such as those in Hungary and Poland, will attempt to survive by engaging foreign partners. Inevitably, however, many will fail.
For broadcasting, the problems of independence are much greater than for the print media, and the political impact of broadcasting is likely to be even more important. As we have seen, there is a justifiable initial government involvement in broadcasting because of the need to manage a frequency spectrum. This can leave open the door for continued government interference. Almost all governments and politicians would like to control television, and some succeed in doing so. Television is a powerful medium, especially in countries where only a couple of channels exist and serve as the main means of communication with people in rural areas.
How then can one wrench the broadcasting system out of the hands of the state and create economically viable systems of independent private- and public-sector broadcasting? The first step of course is to end the state monopoly on broadcasting. One way to begin the process of diversifying the broadcasting media is to proclaim the right to free communication, such as appears in Article 10 of the European Declaration of Human Rights. Then a law, such as that outlined by the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting, may be passed with the objective of protecting the independence of broadcasting in both the public and the private sectors.
Some form of private commercial broadcasting, introduced as quickly as possible, can facilitate the expression of a variety of voices and opinions. The easiest way to create diversity is through small radio stations, which have small capital requirements. In fact, all over Eastern Europe new broadcasters are receiving licenses. Large-scale commercial television, by contrast, requires time to develop, for it needs a thriving market economy to sustain it, since it relies on substantial advertising for income.
Foreign investment can help fund new radio and television broadcasters, but these broadcasters must eventually become profitable in their own right. They must not be dependent on never-ending injections of cash from foreign investors. Even the most noble-minded and courageous foreign investor will lose enthusiasm at the prospect of providing a permanent subsidy to a money-losing enterprise.
At the same time private commercial broadcasting is being introduced, the state broadcasting system must also be reformed. Some argue that all broadcasting should be private and that the marketplace alone should decide who will survive. This argument is not yet relevant for the newly emerging democracies, because their economies are not strong enough to sustain much commercial television broadcasting in the near future.
Others argue that the state broadcasting system should be left to collapse naturally. Such a collapse, however, could create a vacuum, and the only people likely to exploit it are foreign entrepreneurs. Foreign investors present no particular danger except when they are the only players. Broadcasting should reflect the society in which it operates. Therefore networks dominated by imported programming, where foreign or domestically owned, warrant some concern, particularly if they are the only networks.
The goal then is to transform the state broadcasting system, which is controlled both financially and editorially by the state, into an independent public-sector broadcasting system that receives some financial support from the government but is insulated as much as possible from political pressure. Yet more is required. Public-sector broadcasting, as experienced in authoritarian societies, is typically run by an inefficient and overmanned bureaucracy. It will not survive without radical changes that enable it to become economically viable and to use limited resources in the most efficient way. It must be restructured and reduced in size in order to survive under new economic conditions. The managerial skills required to make this transition, however, are in short supply in the new market economies. A great deal of training and experience involving trial and error will be required to develop the necessary skills. It may even require a new generation of managers.
One way to create viable private-sector broadcasting in small and underdeveloped markets involves greater regional cooperation. Together, small countries can use economies of scale. By pursuing joint activities, they can acquire more "muscle" in the marketplace. Satellite technology offers the possibility of regional distribution in various languages. For instance, a satellite can send a network signal that would include one picture and audio tracks in several languages to hundreds of private local television stations. The local station can choose the language it wishes to use and rebroadcast the program on its local over-the-air frequency. These stations would otherwise have a difficult time providing a full schedule on the limited revenues available to them. Of course, for such a system to work, countries must have the political will to cooperate and must forgo the pursuit of some short-term national interests.
Models for cooperative arrangements exist in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The U.K. commercial television system, for example, uses a joint scheduling arrangement, in which 15 separate companies negotiate to develop a national television schedule. In the United States, each of the television networks is affiliated with hundreds of local stations to which it offers programming.
Another political imperative is to ensure that ethnic and linguistic minorities are fully served. Lithuania recently took a step in this direction when it granted approval for the operation of a commercial radio station targeted at the Polish-speaking audience living in and around the capital of Vilnius. Potentially explosive issues related to minorities can only be exacerbated by their omission from the structure of broadcasting. Addressing these minority audiences is easier to do on a regional basis than on a national basis.
One step toward useful cooperation is a bilateral agreement such as that adopted by Poland and Belarus. In July 1992, Polish Television and Belarus Television signed an agreement concerning an exchange and coproduction of programming. According to the agreement, information and current-affairs programs, films, and entertainment programs will be exchanged free of charge. In Poland, some of the programming will be broadcast in Belarusian for the Belarusian national minority there, and in Belarus, some of the programming will be broadcast in Polish for the Polish ethnic minority in that country.
Among the most important issues to address in a new, more diverse broadcasting system are the problems of frequencies and of transmission. In most countries frequency management is regarded as a professional mystery, and many professionals would like to keep it that way. In the communist world, frequency management often was, in fact, a state secret.
New democracies can enhance freedom of communication by making the management of frequencies a transparent process, so that any citizen can challenge the process and the resulting decision. The regulatory body can begin by reassessing the overall capacity given to the country under international agreements and the allocation of that capacity within the country. For instance, has too much capacity been given to the military with too little remaining for civil and commercial broadcasting purposes? Next, regulators must consider how efficiently the spectrum has been managed. Can more stations be squeezed in? The answer is usually "yes."
Transmission can be an equally important issue. In many countries, a ministry of communications controls all radio and television transmitting equipment and conducts all transmissions, charging broadcasters for the service. This arrangement has two major disadvantages: the broadcaster is subject to arbitrary pricing, and transmission can be cut off at the whim of the ministry. With the collapse of the totalitarian state, many ministries have tried to maximize their own revenues by arbitrarily raising transmission charges to broadcasters. This price rise has put an additional strain on existing broadcasters and made it more difficult for entrepreneurs to enter the media market.
Creating a free market for these services would not only increase efficiency but also encourage freedom from political interference. Within certain technical parameters, anyone, including broadcasters themselves, should be allowed to build transmitters and offer services. At the very least, those services offered by the state should be subject to rate review, as are public utilities such as water and electricity in the West. Under this system, the regulatory body would set rates for transmitting based on what it decides is a reasonable profit for the transmitter. The best solution, however, would be a free market in transmission services.
In programming, as in transmission, the basic aims are independence and diversity. Of course, given a limited frequency spectrum, not everyone can be a broadcaster. Even with the most efficient and enlightened management of the frequency spectrum, there is a limit. But there are other ways to encourage diversity. Many would-be television broadcasters, for instance, really want to be producers--that is, they want to make the programs to be broadcast--and they need easy access to a broadcast market. One way to encourage diversity, therefore, is to ensure that broadcasters transmit not only programs that they themselves have made but also those made by independent producers.
In the United Kingdom, for instance, 25 percent of the programming on all television networks must be independently produced. In fact, one channel (Channel 4) produces nothing of its own but relies solely on independent production companies for its programming.
The advantages of a healthy independent production industry are enormous. Not only does it provide diversity, but it also offers many entrepreneurial opportunities at comparatively low start-up costs. For example, after allowing a network to broadcast a program once or twice initially, producers can sell the rights to that program elsewhere, such as in foreign markets, on videocassette, and on airlines.
This independent entrepreneurial activity is an important part of free communication. It allows different voices to be heard and helps to protect broadcasting from political interference and assaults upon its independence, because it makes such assaults more complicated.
Professionalism and the Media
Many of the problems that confront freedom of communication in newly emerging democracies have little to do with the shortcomings of government and much to do with the inadequacy of journalists themselves. It would be unrealistic to expect journalists in newly free societies to have impeccable professional judgment. Societies that emerge from repression to the shock of the market typically have few accepted ethical standards. The legal foundation of civil society is weak; the opportunities for corruption are many. The notion of conflict of interest is unfamiliar and poorly understood, and in the struggle for survival, public assets are often used for improper private gain. Some newspapers in Mexico, for instance, are starting to move away from a system in which reporters also sell advertising, an arrangement that creates serious conflict-of-interest problems. A law regulating the media cannot address all these issues. The enactment of general laws concerning, for instance, property rights, bankruptcy, and contracts is also essential.
In both print and broadcast journalism in the new democracies, freedom can be a heavy burden, for it involves responsibility. Inevitably, people will say, write, and broadcast ideas that are irresponsible and threaten to increase social and political problems. Efforts to address this problem should not rely upon repressive restrictions but rather focus on developing professional skills and sound judgment in journalists.
One example of an overly restrictive broadcast law comes from Romania. According to summaries, Article 2 states:
These rules might be acceptable simply as a code of conduct, but the draft of Article 39, dealing with criminal penalties, states:
The fears of the Romanians are understandable. Ultimately, however, people cannot learn to be responsible unless responsibility is given to them. The poor decisions made by some imprudent journalists may infuriate, but they must be dealt with not by criminal penalties, which extinguish freedom in the name of responsibility, but by exhortation, example, and training. (Many organizations now offer training for journalists in new democracies; a few of them are listed under "Contacts" at the end of this paper; others are described in a sidebar.)
In some new democracies, years of repression and underground pamphleteering can lead to a reliance on opinion rather than objective reporting. Moreover, some readers will miss being told what to think. Freedom brings new and different problems and should bring new standards. Objective reporting will call upon readers to examine the evidence and make up their minds.
In broadcasting, the confusion of liberty with license is even more likely. In television, whose powerful images can shape the opinions of vast numbers of people, lack of judgment, fairness, or balance can be particularly dangerous. If journalists and broadcasters do not make sound, defensible professional judgments, the clamor for restraint in the name of responsibility may become irresistible. Because broadcasters use a limited public resource and are, or should be, licensed to serve the public interest, sound editorial judgment is vital to sustain editorial freedom.
Of course, freedom must include the freedom to make mistakes. It will take years of training and repeated errors to bring about responsible, objective journalism. During this process journalists must be educated about the demands and expectations of politicians and officials, and politicians and officials must try to appreciate the professional demands of journalists. One promising approach is the use of small seminars using role-playing techniques with hypothetical situations to explore issues of public policy for journalists, government officials, and politicians.
The line between a proper complaint about the content of a newspaper or television program and improper pressure on publishers and broadcasters is a fine one. The ability to identify this line is crucial, and since it cannot be defined by law, it can probably be learned only by experience. There are many ways in which groups within a society can influence the media and in which those in the media can learn to be more responsive to public concerns. For example, media organizations can accept letters to the editor. In addition, a number of newspapers (and occasionally television stations) in the United States, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, and elsewhere have hired ombudsmen to make their organizations more accountable to the public. Sometimes called "reader advocates," ombudsmen investigate complaints from readers and news sources about accuracy and fairness, commonly publishing the results of their research. Their writings are generally free from internal editorial review, allowing them to act as independent in-house critics.
Even if the independence of the media has been established, the press has adapted to the free market, and journalists are upholding standards of responsibility, the battle has not been won. People must learn to live with a free press and broadcasting on a day-to-day basis. They must learn how to resolve their differences without placing the acceptance of the idea of free editorial judgment under too great a strain.
It is not easy to live with this free exchange of ideas, especially where this tradition is absent. The rewards of this freedom, however, are great. Only with freedom of communication is a democratic society possible. Without freedom of communication, the state is deaf and so are the people.
THE GROWTH OF THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY IN SOUTH KOREA
In the past several years, South Korea has developed a burgeoning, competitive newspaper industry. Until 1987, newspaper publishers were required to be licensed by the government. With the new Periodical Registration Law passed that year, publishers may issue newspapers after simply informing the government that they plan to do so. Government "guidance" to news organizations is also disappearing.
Since the new law has been on the books, the number of newspapers in Korea has grown dramatically. Between 1987 and 1990, the number of daily newspapers in Seoul grew from six to seventeen. Dozens more have sprung up outside of the capital. The new newspapers include pro-government and opposition papers, business- and sports-oriented papers, and church-owned papers. As a result of this extraordinary expansion, the newspaper business now displays a new competitiveness, with many papers fighting to be first to print important stories.
Still, it is not clear that the growth in the number of newspapers has substantially increased the amount or kind of information that Koreans are getting. The government still requires newspaper publishers to own their own printing presses, thus placing severe obstacles in the way of small, narrowly focused newspapers. In addition, many readers distrust newspapers because of the influence of advertisers.
Obtaining advertising revenue in the thriving Korean economy has not been difficult, but it may become so with the large number of new publications and new growth in the broadcasting sector. Some of the new papers may not survive in this highly competitive atmosphere.
Nonetheless, this important learning period for Korean publishers, journalists, politicians, and readers has the potential to leave South Korea with a diverse, competitive, economically sound newspaper industry and a level of journalistic professionalism it has not seen before.
GUIDELINES FOR REGULATING BROADCASTING
A DRAFT LAW ON THE GOVERNMENT'S REGULATION OF BROADCASTING
The following are some of the most important points that should be included in any law to regulate broadcasting:
TRAINING FOR MEDIA PROFESSIONALS
For journalists, publishers, and broadcasters who are learning to operate within a system of free media, training and educational opportunities are available from many sources.
The Center for Foreign Journalists, for example, based in the United States, offers training workshops and seminars for journalists around the world. Recently, it conducted a training program consisting of two parts for Nigerian journalists. First, specialists from the Center traveled to Nigeria and led workshops on basic techniques in political and economic reporting for writers and reporters in three Nigerian cities. Next, 10 participants were selected to attend a six-week training session in the United States. The first week of the program, in Washington, D.C., consisted of an orientation to the U.S. media and U.S. government institutions. Participants were then paired up and sent to news organizations around the country, including the Kansas City Star (Missouri), the Fort Worth Star Telegram (Texas), and WJFB-TV in Augusta, Georgia, for a four-week internship. During the program's final week, participants gathered in New York City to compare notes on their experiences.
Many other types of training programs are available as well:
broadcast frequency spectrum -- the total number of broadcast frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum that can be assigned to individual broadcasters.
conflict of interest -- a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust (such as a government official, businessperson, or journalist).
copyright protection -- protection of the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, and sell a literary, musical, or artistic work.
joint scheduling -- a system used in the United Kingdom whereby various commercial broadcasters cooperatively agree on a programming schedule for the country.
network affiliates -- local independent commercial stations that rely on a network signal for much of their programming.
public-sector broadcasting -- broadcasting funded directly or indirectly by the state, but over which the state does not have tight editorial control
state broadcasting -- broadcasting controlled financially and editorially by the state.
Books and Pamphlets
Annenberg Washington Program. Building Democracy: New Broadcasting Laws in East and Central Europe. A Joint Project of the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies of Northwestern University and the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting. Washington, D.C.: Annenberg Washington Program, 1992.
Blumenthal, Howard J., and Oliver R. Goodenough. The Business of Television. New York: Billboard Books (imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications), 1991.
Dennis, Everette E., and Jon Vanden Heuvel, with the assistance of Jeremy King. Emerging Voices: East European Media in Transition. A Report of the Gannett Foundation Task Force on Press Freedom in Eastern Europe. Arlington, Virginia: Gannett Foundation, 1991.
Sussman, Leonard R. Power, the Press, and the Technology of Freedom: The Coming Age of ISDN. New York: Freedom House, 1989.
Columbia Journalism Review. Published six times a year by the Graduate School of Journalism, Journalism Building, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA. Telephone: (212) 854- 1881. Fax: (212) 854-8580.
Fund for Free Expression. Published irregularly by Human Rights Watch, 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10017-6104, USA. Telephone: (212) 972-8400. Fax: (212) 972-0905.
Index on Censorship. Published ten times a year by Writers and Scholars International Ltd., 39c Highbury Place, London H510P, UK. Telephone: (071) 359-0161. Fax: (071) 354-8665.
IPI Report. Published monthly by the International Press Institute, Dilke House, 1 Malet Street, London WC1E 7JA, UK. Telephone: (071) 636-0703. Fax: (071) 580-8349. Includes an annual review of world press freedom.
American Press Institute
11690 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia 22091
Telephone: (703) 620-3611
Fax: (703) 620-5814
The American Press Institute (API), a private, non-profit organization, administers training programs primarily for U.S. and Canadian newspaper journalists and management personnel, but participants from other nations do attend its programs. Approximately 60 percent of its programs are for reporters and editors, and 40 percent are for those concerned with the business side of newspaper publishing.
Center for Foreign Journalists
11690-A Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia 22091
Telephone: (703) 620-5984
Fax: (703) 620-6790
This center was established to share professional know-how and information among journalists and their news organizations around the world. It offers training workshops, consulting services, and fellowship and exchange programs, and publishes an international directory of training and educational opportunities for journalists.
Committee to Protect Journalists
16 East 42nd Street
New York, New York 10017
Telephone: (212) 983-5355
Fax: (212) 867-1830
The Committee to Protect Journalists monitors and protests attacks on journalists and media organizations. It also publishes reports on freedom of the press and threats to journalists.
The Freedom Forum
1101 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209
Telephone: (703) 528-0800
Fax: (703) 528-7766
The Freedom Forum supports journalism education, professional development of journalists, and the rights of free press and free speech through projects, programs, and publications and by funding grant and program proposals. It also operates the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center and the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center.
48 East 21st Street
New York, New York 10010
Telephone: (212) 473-9691
Fax: (212) 477-4126
Freedom House is an international human rights organization that tracks and protests violations of press freedom, publishes reports on press freedom issues, and maintains an archive of materials concerning press freedom issues.
Inter-American Press Association
2911 NW 39th Street
Miami, Florida 33242
Telephone: (305) 634-2465
Fax: (305) 635-2272
The IAPA, an organization of Western Hemisphere newspapers and publications, monitors freedom of the press, offers scholarships to journalists, and provides technical and management assistance to members.
International Media Fund
1350 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202) 296-9787
Fax: (202) 296-9835
The International Media Fund (IMF) is a private, non-profit organization that receives funding from the U.S. government. The IMF supports independent print, radio, and television media in Central and Eastern Europe with training courses, workshops, and purchases of equipment.
Magazine Publishers of America
575 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Telephone: (212) 752-0055
Fax: (212) 888-4217
The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) is the industry association for consumer magazines, representing 800 titles in the United States and more than 450 internationally. MPA administers a number of advertising, circulation, marketing, and general education programs.
National Association of Broadcasters
1771 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-2891
Telephone: (202) 429-5300
Fax: (202) 429-5343
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) represents U.S. radio and television stations and networks, providing information, seminars, and publications on management, sales, marketing, engineering, and research at broadcast stations. NAB has hundreds of International Associate Members in countries around the world. NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April draws more than 52,000 broadcasters and other professionals, including 10,000 from foreign countries. Its Radio Show, held in a different city each September, attracts 7,000 participants annually.
Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting
3000 Woodland Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone: (202) 298-6373
Fax: (202) 298-6374
An informal group of some 50 executives from Europe and the United States, the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue has as a prime mission helping free and independent broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It has been particularly active in drafting more liberal broadcasting laws.
World Press Freedom Committee
11600 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia 22091
Telephone: (703) 648-1000
Fax: (703) 620-4557
The WPFC, a coordination group of national and international news media organizations, has programs to combat censorship and offer assistance to media organizations and journalism schools around the world.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
World Service Training
P.O. Box 76
London WC28 4PH
Telephone: (071) 257-2024
Fax: (071) 497-0288
BBC World Service Training offers training for East European journalists both in the United Kingdom and in individual countries. It also offers consulting services to media organizations on financial and management issues.
International Press Institute
1 Malet Street
London WC1E 7JA
Telephone: (071) 636-0703
Fax: (071) 580-8349
Made up of international media organizations, the IPI aims to safeguard freedom of the press, ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to report freely, and improve the practice of journalism through seminars around the world. It also conducts research on the mass media and publishes a wide range of books.
68 Park Place
Cardiff CF1 3AS
Telephone: (0222) 874-873
Fax: (0222) 225-194
The Thomson Foundation offers training and development programs designed to raise professional standards in the media of developing countries. Its programs include in-country training courses and consultancies for both print and broadcasting and intensive training in Britain.
About the Author: David Webster is Chairman of the Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on European Broadcasting. He is also President of Radiosat International. For eight years he was a member of the Board of Management of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
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