Research Reviews for Media Development Practitioners

These research reviews inform practitioners and researchers about key debates, evidence and emerging issues in international media development. They provide concise analyses of current research, both academic and non-academic, and discuss its practical relevance for international media assistance.


Mack, J. (2022). Comprehending Media Systems for Media Development
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Leroy, M. (2021). Sustainability: Going Beyond The Buzzword
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Santos, F.O. dos (2021). Peace Journalism: A Tool Within Media Development?
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Schönbächler, V. (2021). Feminist and Gender Perspectives in Literature on Media & Development.
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MEDAS 21 (2022). Position Paper MEDAS 21. Development Assistance in the 21st Century. Lessons Learnt from A Media Development Research Program.
POSITION PAPER_MEDAS 21_20220916.pdf
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Leroy, M. (2020). Sustainability Goals in the Field of Media Development: The Case of Fondation Hirondelle (Research Paper Assignment for Jönköping University).
Assignment Michel LEROY.pdf
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Michel Leroy’s paper discusses sustainability goals in the field of media development by asking the question: How does one of the prominent media development implementers construct its sustainability discourse?

The aim of his paper was to analyze one of the leading development aid actors in the field of the media, Lausanne-based Fondation Hirondelle, from a communication perspective and discuss the potentials and challenges of the collaboration within the organization through a cross-sector communicative dimension.

Leroy argues for a revision of the way media assistance is considered according to the so-called “post-media-missionary” which advocates a bottom-up process focusing more on social change, accountability and less on the top-down imposition of a single governance model. Leroy holds the view that implementers such as Fondation Hirondelle could consider a holistic and cross-sectoral approach where research is supposed to feed into the strategy. According to his paper, Fondation Hirondelle’s emancipatory project is inseparable from the ambiguities of social construction of media development as a paradigm and in particular from the meaning it has taken since the 1990s when the organization was created.

Santos, F.O. dos (2020). Sustainable Solutions to Peacebuilding Through Radio? The Experience of Radio Program “Elesongo” in the Central African Republic. (Research Paper Assignment for Jönköping University).

Available upon request 


In her paper, Fabíola Ortiz considers how the concept of “sustainable journalism” can embody peacebuilding processes by looking at the experience of the radio program Elesongo in the Central African Republic (CAR). The research question is: How are sustainable solutions to peacebuilding being promoted through the radio? Ortiz makes the claim that peace can be placed as a central component of the social pillar of sustainability since the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies is explicit at the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 in the Agenda 2030.

Her paper appraises the weekly radio program Elesongo – Dialogue de Religions et Culture broadcasted by Radio Ndeke Luka, a media project run by Fondation Hirondelle in the CAR, by means of a brief and general content analysis with a sample of 15 programs (Sept 4, 2019 -Feb 3, 2020). According to Ortiz’ analysis, the episodes encouraged debates and inclusive dialogue alongside the view of promoting a local turn in peacebuilding ideas coming from citizens and civil society actors who actively joined the radio program. Although there is no explicit mention to the word ‘peacebuilding’ in the title of the episodes, the subject of building peace was present in almost all of the programs. Media practices can uphold the idea that sustainable solutions may be discussed and promoted regarding a ‘local turn’ to peace.

Ortiz deems it possible that the notion of sustainable journalism may be embedded in the model for media development – through which journalism can offer and empower citizens with information in order to better equip them to decide on matters of public importance without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own journalistic information needs.


Keßler, M. (2020). Journalism trainings and media development: Differences as practical challenges.
Kessler-Mira_Poster_Research on Differen
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Leroy, M. (2020). Tracing the process of sustaining proximity radios in a developing context.
Leroy-Michel_Poster Presentation.pdf
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Mack, J. (2020). Knowledge production for media development assistance in unstable least developed media systems.
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Santos, F.O. dos (2020). Journalism and peacebuilding: Radio Guira and Ndeke Luka in the Central African Republic.
Ortiz-Fabiola_Poster presentation.pdf
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Schönbächler, V. (2020). Women Journalists in Proximity Radios: How gendering the media contributes to peace in Burkina Faso.
Schönbächler-Viviane_Poster Practice P
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Wollnik, S. (2020). The social importance of health journalism in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wollnik-Stefan_Poster_Health Journalism
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Zaitoonie, R. (2020). The United Nations' efforts on media and public communication in peacebuilding. A comparative study on Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.
Zaitoonie_Roja_Poster Presentation.pdf
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Roja Zaitoonie: PR or Media Development? The UN efforts on Media and Public Information in Peace Operations

Stefan Wollnik: The importance and challenges of COVID-19 pandemic health reporting in Uganda and South Africa

Mira Keßler: Rethinking borders and boundaries: Differences in journalism trainings in media development

Michel Leroy: Sustainability through 20 years of media development evaluation

Viviane Schönbächler and Fabíola Ortiz dos Santos: A discussion of influencing factors in conflict journalism and implications for MediaDev

Information material on MEDAS 21

MEDAS 21 Fellows at a Glance
January 2020
MEDAS Fellow at a glance_2020_01.pdf
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MEDAS 21 concept
July 2018
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