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Measuring media development

Guy Berger's picture

Fackson and I presented our report on research instruments for media assessment, during a panel at the Global Forum for Media Development. And encountered a lively audience.

The report is online on the GFMD website.

We argued that existing tools being used to assess media landscapes can do well to be more explicit about what their values are, what they mean by "media", and what they mean by development.

In addition, that their research methods (eg. qualitative group perceptions) need to be "triangulated" - i.e. not taken as the final word, but located in relation to insights created by other instruments too.

The discussion raised concerns about difficulties in producing averages in scores about media development, and in then giving equal weighting to different areas (eg. legal environment rated as being of equal importance to the state of media support groups).

I've tweeted the debate, but one interesting point was what the starting point should be in assessing media:

* James Dean (BBC World Service Trust) said - begin with the people as citizens, and assess what's relevant to that.

* I said: start with the media, because you need to see how they can be means to audience ends.

* Fackson said: avoid media-centrism and concentrate on communications more broadly.

My thoughts: let's concentrate on journalism - alpha and omega.


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