Hivos believes that the free exchange of information, space for expression and opportunities for active citizen participation are essential conditions for the development of a democratic society. Shifting the balance of power anywhere requires strong social actors. Well-informed citizens are vital in this regard.
Information is worthless if it is biased, unchecked or censored. But the media can play a crucial role in social change and justice if it offers an independent and impartial platform for citizens to express their opinions and defend their rights and interests. Now more than ever, new and alternative media are offering citizens the opportunity to both inform and express themselves through (exiled) media, digital platforms and community radio. Stimulating high-quality journalism and independent news reporting by media organisations - in both authoritarian regimes and democratic societies - is therefore a key focal area of Hivos’ media policy.
We greatly value social changes initiated by citizens themselves: civic-driven change, where active, engaged citizens play a central role. And they need diverse, high-quality and independent media sources to engage in change processes more successfully. This is why Hivos has a three-fold strategy to promote first-rate independent media in different countries, strengthen the existing media landscape and improve media professionalism and effectiveness with a particular focus on topics of public interest and investigative journalism.