Strengthening the Capacity of the Media to cover the Elections in Mozambique
Mozambique, twelve years since the country adopted a new liberal constitution, is moving into a multi-party democracy. In the past decade there has been a growth in the number, complexity and quality of print and electronic media outlets throughout the country.
According to a survey by UNESCO Media Development Project in Mozambique, there are over 300 new media outlets, all created after the approval of the new Constitution. Independent newspapers, radio and television stations, and community-owned local radio and television stations that have recently emerged, as well as the public broadcasting stations and print media, are adopting a new public service approach in order to respond to new realities.
But mounting evidence has produced a general consensus amongst editors, journalists and other media practitioners that Mozambican media is still fragile, lacks diversity and is narrowly focused. These weaknesses are essentially related to poor skills, lack of experience and exposure.
This project on Media and Democracy in Mozambique: Strengthening the Election Coverage Capacity, which was first implemented during the 1999 presidential/legislative elections and then during municipal elections in 2003, aims to address these problems at a time when the public needs diversified, in depth and impartial information to exercise one of their fundamental constitutional rights - to elect and be elected.
The goal of this project is media empowerment and confidence-building among journalists in Mozambique, particularly for those working in municipalities and other regions outside the major urban centres such as Nampula, Beira and Maputo, and to facilitate greater exchange and interaction, as well as mentoring, among journalists in Mozambique.