Media@McGill hosts Montreal launch of landmark World Bank study

On the occasion of the International Communication Association congress in Montreal, Media@McGill, in conjunction with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, will host the Montreal launch of a new World Bank study, Broadcasting, Voice and Accountability: A Public Interest Approach to Policy, Law, and Regulation, outlining how broadcast media can fulfill a vital role in development by making governments accountable, and giving voice to the world’s poor. The event, which will include a reception and book signing, will take place on May 23, 2011 from 6 to 7 p.m., at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, 1201 René-Lévesque Blvd. West.

The 400-page study is the result of five years of research by six media experts, including McGill University’s Marc Raboy, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications, and head of Media@McGill; Monroe E. Price, Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; Kreszentia Duer, of the World Bank Institute (WBI); Steve Buckley, president of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters; Toby Mendel, legal director of ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression; and Seán Ó Siochrú, founder of the Campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society.

“The project highlights the role that different forms of media can play in processes of development and building democracy,” Prof. Raboy said. “One point that I am particularly proud of is the book’s focus on the idea that any country will be well served by a healthy mix of publicly funded, private commercial, and community not-for-profit media. This may seem obvious, but is rarely realized on the ground. The book provides dozens of examples of initiatives that are working, in unlikely places like Nepal and Ghana.”

This is the World Bank’s first publication about broadcasting policy as it relates to the developing world. Special attention is devoted to how media can enhance accountability in governance and contribute to development and “voice,” particularly for those who are disadvantaged in society.

“From China to Myanmar, Iraq to Somalia, media shape the impact of significant geopolitical events. The World Bank book is recognition of the importance of media as they affect governments, economies, and, especially, the participation of individuals in their fates. It was a pleasure to see continued cooperation between the Beaverbrook Chair at McGill and the Annenberg School on these questions,” Prof. Price said. In addition, the Beaverbrook Foundation generously hosted a conference at Cherkley Court in Surrey (UK) in 2006 which participated in deepening the manuscript.

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