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Promoting Independent Media: Strategies for Democracy Assistance

Krishna Kumar
Promoting Independent Media: Strategies for Democracy Assistance
ISBN: 978-1-58826-429-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-011-1
2006/189 pages/LC: 2005029742

"Promoting Independent Media highlights remarkable successes and regrettable failures and along the way provides an invaluable institutional memory for the sector as a whole."—David Hoffman, Internews

"Kumar provides the first systematic look at the West's massive investment over the last 25 years in helping to create independent media around the world, a core but much misunderstood element in democratic development.... His invaluable book conveys in detail both its importance and its pitfalls."—Ellen Hume, author of Media Missionaries

"Kumar's broad development expertise and the detailed case studies he explores provide an in-depth view of media assistance and a rich set of lessons learned."—Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Krishna Kumar surveys the nature and significance of international aid designed to build and strengthen independent news media in support of democratization and development.

Providing the first comprehensive coverage of media assistance programs, Kumar discusses the evolution, focus, and overall impact of a range of intervention strategies. He also presents seven in-depth case studies based on extensive USAID-sponsored fieldwork; here he examines the context, accomplishments, and failures of efforts in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Central America, Indonesia, Russia, Serbia, and Sierra Leone. A concluding chapter summarizes the findings of the study and suggests their important implications for international media assistance.


Krishna Kumar is senior evaluation adviser in the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, US Department of State. His recent books include Rebuilding Societies After Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance; Women and Civil War: Impact, Organization, and Action; and Postconflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance.


  • International Media Assistance.
  • Programming Approaches to Independent Media Building.
  • Journalism Training and Institution Building in Central America.
  • Promoting Regional Television Stations in Russia.
  • Media Assistance and Regime Change in Serbia.
  • Building the Open Broadcasting Network in Bosnia.
  • Supporting Independent Radio Stations in Indonesia.
  • Establishing Community Radio Stations in Afghanistan.
  • The Talking Drum Studio in Sierra Leone.
  • Recommendations to the International Community.