Supporting Investigative journalism in Madagascar via Trandraka 8 and open discussions

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Madagascar has seen a series of injunctions aimed at the press and media, such as the one addressed to private audiovisual stations in 2020, or the recent interministerial decision restricting the broadcasting of political debate programs and live appeals, a decision that was revised after the interpellation of citizens and civil society.

These different provisions make the status of journalists more precarious. To mitigate this, the UNESCO Antenna in Madagascar is implementing different dynamics.

Launched in 2016, the magazine Trandraka, which last two editions were funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund through the “Appui à une gouvernance démocratique à Madagascar” (GoudMada) project, offered in-depth investigations to fight against corruption and being the first investigative magazine in Madagascar.

For its 8th edition, a complaint unit was created, allowing citizens to alert journalists about potential cases of corruption. An online debate, “Takalo Hevitra”, was organized by Transparency International-Initiative Madagascar (TI-MG) to mark the launch of this eighth edition, with the participation of UNESCO Madagascar, the Independent Anti-Corruption Bureau (BIANCO), the Order of Journalists of Madagascar and civil society associations.

During this exchange, Mr. Tsimihipa Andriamazavarivo, the Executive Director of the NGO Tolotsoa declared “Information creates action and informed people become conscious citizens, holding the government accountable” emphasizing the importance of the magazine.

Following the same dynamic, three virtual roundtables were held for the World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May, with the active participation of the Malagasy Minister of Communication and Culture and the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Madagascar. Round tables were addressing issues related to access to information, safety of women journalists and sustainability of the profession.

Those discussions must lead to actions in order to implement a journalism for peace in Madagascar, supported by the PBF via GoudMada. UNESCO will pursue its work with next sessions of virtual workshops and the sustainability of Trandraka.

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