Supporting Journalists from Least Developed Countries

Journalists in Least Developed Countries face significant challenges. Investigation and research into development topics takes time, research and financial and human resources. Significant challenges are faced by media in covering development issues in country when national communities are affected by conflicts, crisis and epidemics.

Journalists around the world face difficulties ensuring that development stories are published in the mainstream media. Strong angles which reflect national interests are required. A lack of access to relevant data also frequently prevents journalists from accurately reporting and translating complex statistics into compelling narratives.

Despite these challenges many journalists and news outlets are keen to report on how their home countries are progressing socially and economically.

The Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries also promotes the need for good governance at all levels, including the effective participation of the independent media. The Programme of Action also tasks UN-OHRLLS with “awareness raising and advocacy works in favour of least developed countries in partnership with the relevant part of the United Nations, as well as with parliaments, civil society, the media, academia and foundations, and to provide appropriate support to group consultations of least developed countries.” (A/CONF.219/3/Rev.1 11-35151 49)

In 2016 an informal network of journalists from least developed countries was established after the Mid-Term Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action in Antlaya and OHRLLS has worked to raise funds to support this network, raise awareness of the SDGs within LDC news outlets and link local stories with broader international commitments such as the SDGs and the IPoA.

In May 2018, UN-OHRLLS, in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All and South-South Cooperation, ran the Voices of a Brighter Future Journalism Competition. 

Journalists from Least Developed Countries were invited to submit stories on how sustainable energy is positively affecting communities in their countries. Seven winners, were selected by a high-level panel to attend the Sustainable Energy For All Forum in Lisbon (2-3 May, 2018) and also have their stories featured by the UN.

Check out the winners stories and our digital magazine here