Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
The media has played an important role in the democratisation process of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the run up to the November 2011 elections, the ability of citizens to access – especially state owned – media is of paramount importance.
The DRC’s media sector has grown significantly to now include, 213 radio broadcast stations, 107 television stations (state-owned, private and community stations), and about 250 newspapers and periodicals. These gains in media plurality are continuously undermined by the continued bribing of media.
The media sector in the DRC is subject to further manipulation as a result of the political bias of the independent regulating authority – the High Audiovisual and Communication Council (CSAC). Several television stations have already had their signals cut because of airing information unfavourable to the regime.
There is no regulatory body besides the CSAC and the Ministry of Information – both of which are tied to the ruling party – that is able to regulate compliance with democratic access to the media, and inform the public about issues observed. As such, this project aims to monitor access to, both state and privately owned, media during the electoral period.
This goal will be attained by facilitating the placement of a Congolese media monitoring team during the electoral period; contributing to equitable access to media; facilitating an interface between civil society and the Congolese media regulatory institutions; and, finally, helping to amplify civil society’s voice in advocating for a transparent and peaceful electoral process in the DRC.ShareThis