Differentiating Media Development And Communication for Development

What’s the difference between media development and communication for development? One is a structural approach while the other is a process, a post at the World Bank blog says. “Communication for development means the use of communication tools - usually in the form of awareness raising campaigns - to achieve development goals. Media development, on the other hand, is about supporting an independent media sector in and of itself, it’s a structural approach,” Anne-Katrin Arnold, a consultant for the bank’s Communication for Governance & Accountability Program, says in a blog post. She explains that media development targets the sustainability of independent media markets, the capacity of journalists and other actors to fulfill their functions and the legal environment that assures media independence and freedom. It treats media as a sector, like health and education, that has an important role in the development of a state, Arnold adds. “On the other hand, communication for development is a process, where in communication tools are used to promote development projects and raise people’s awareness about key issues, she shares. Both are relevant to development but they require different skill sets and approaches,” she adds. “Media development is about capacity and coalition building on a grand scale, including lobbying for legislation and support for a sustainable market. To do communication for development successfully, a deep understanding of opinion formation and behavior change is necessary.”

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.