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40. Beyond 2015: Media as Democracy and Development

How democratic governance contributes to development is dependent on the right to freedom of expression, a right recognized as a basic human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. As such, it lends itself to universal recognition and application. The right further subsumes freedom of information and of the press. The importance of the former to transparency and the concept of Knowledge Society is self-evident. The importance of the latter lies in the kind of democratic media landscape it prescribes: a free, pluralistic, and independent one. This paper by Fackson Banda, a political scientist specializing in communications at Rhodes University (South Africa), seeks to conceptualize the interconnection between free, independent, and pluralistic media, and governance and development.