Is the news media part of the solution to promoting transparent and accountable democratic governance? Or are they part of the problem? On Tuesday 1st December 2009, the release of a new World Bank study, Public Sentinel, debated this issue at the World Bank in Washington DC. The event brought together Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President, World Bank Institute, Philip Keefer, Lead Research Economist, Development Research Group, and the book's editor, Pippa Norris, Harvard University.
Within the broad context of the major issues facing the international development community, Public Sentinel: News Media & Governance Reform focuses on the performance of the news media as an institution in addressing the challenges of governance. The book seeks to consider three related issues: What ideal roles should media systems play to strengthen democratic governance and thus bolster human development? Under what conditions do media systems actually succeed or fail to fulfill these objectives? What policy interventions work most effectively to close the substantial gap which exists between the democratic promise and performance of the news media as an institution?
The panel discussed the evidence from the book concluding that the next steps would be to produce a practical toolkit which could help World Bank colleagues in country offices, as well as those working in the broader international community, identify the opportunities for effective intervention to strengthen the roles of the news media.
Copies of the new book can be ordered from The World Bank.
Publication Date: November, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8213-8200-4. SKU: 18200. US$40.
To order, please click here
To read the policy brief, click here (PDF)
More details are available from CommGAP, The World Bank.