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May 16 , 2010

Broadcasting and Development: Options for the World Bank


It is increasingly recognized that broadcasting has an important role to play in development - as a widespread tool of information transfer, as a method to improve governance, as an important economic sector in its own right and as a potential access point to new information and communications technologies.Sector reform is long overdue, with the state domination radio broadcast in approximately 75 percent of the world, for example.Reform in the broadcasting sector can have significant development impact -especially in improving governance and transparency.The World Bank has taken the lead in the reform of a range of other sectors.It is time for the institution to turn its attention to broadcasting, where many of the same lessons of reform apply, land where the unmet need for assistance is great.The Bank Group's potential activities in the sector might include: · Basic Reform, involving the opening up of the broadcast sector to private and community involvement, and deconcentrating private media ownership.Convergence regulation, involving the harmonization and integration of regulations covering broadcast and telecommunications infrastructure. · Support for community radio stations to improve access for the poor to the tolls of information and communications technologies; and· Pilot projects involving digital television to assess the potential of broadcast as a tool to widen.
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