International Media Assistance: Experiences and Prospects


  • Mary Myers
  • Christoph Dietz
  • Marie-Soleil Frère University of Brussels


media assistance, ICT, international aid, media and development, media and democratization, impact assessment, evaluation, Western bias


As an introduction to this special issue this article deals firstly with defining and clarifying terms and concepts which are used in the context of international media assistance. Secondly, the themes of the different articles in this collection are enumerated: these are broadly the how to of media assistance, evaluation and the ongoing debate about proving impact of media assistance project; negotiating the tensions between the state and the media and finally, the fundamental question of why and to what purpose is assistance to the media sector given in the first place. The first two of these themes are developed in slightly more depth. The piece is rounded off with some further reflections on the history both of the idea of media assistance and of the way it has been practiced in recent decades. It finally looks at the ways research in this field may develop in the future.

Author Biographies

Mary Myers

Mary Myers is a freelance communications specialist with long experience of media development in Africa, in particular. She is British and works from her home near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK. She holds a Masters in French and Philosophy from Oxford University and a PhD from Reading University in International Development Communications. She has worked on many projects and publications since going freelance in 1996, especially with the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). From 2002 to 2003 she was an adviser on communications and media within DFID’s Policy Division. With a background in NGO programme management, she travels widely and has worked in more than 25 countries in Africa, also in Bangladesh and the Pacific. She has contributed to various academic conferences and has written and edited many research studies, policy-papers, journal articles, book chapters and conference reports on communications, radio, conflict and fragile states, gender, media and development.

Christoph Dietz

Christoph Dietz, Dr. med,is deputy executive director of CAMECO, a consultancy specialising in media and communications in developing countries, based in Aachen, Germany. He is also coordinator of the Forum Media and Development (FoME), a network of ten German organizations active in international media assistance, see He has 20 years of experience in media assistance and development communication. Currently, his work areas include the assessment and evaluation of faith-based and community media projects in Latin America, strategic planning and communication strategy development, and audience research in developing countries. He also maintains a literature database on media assistance and media landscapes in the Global South,

Marie-Soleil Frère, University of Brussels

Marie-Soleil Frère is Senior Researcher at the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium and Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at the University of Brussels (ULB). Since 2009, she is also directing the Research Center in Information and Communication (ReSIC) at the ULB. Her research focuses on the role of the media in democratic processes, conflicts, elections and social change in Francophone Africa. Her background and experiences have always associated an academic career and the management of media development projects, particularly in West and Central Africa. Her recent books include Elections and the Media in Post-Conflict Africa: Votes and Voices for Peace (2011) and The Media and Conflicts in Central Africa (2007). She has also edited, for the Panos Paris Institute, a range of manuals for African journalists, and published several reports on media landscapes, media assistance and ICTs.




How to Cite

Myers, M., Dietz, C., & Frère, M.-S. (2015). International Media Assistance: Experiences and Prospects. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 4(2). Retrieved from