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Growing tensions among regional, ethnic and economic groups in Bolivia are being reflected in the media to the detriment of the country's unity, International Media Support (IMS) has found in a recent report.

On a mission to the country last fall, the IMS team found that Bolivians are receiving "incomplete and distorted information" due to some media outlets aggressively purporting certain political interests and openly manipulating information. Combined with insufficient journalism training and a lack of a widely accepted ethical framework, this "crisis in journalism is impeding Bolivians' understanding of strategic and sensitive topics in the development of their country," says the report.

"Media and Conflict in Bolivia" suggests a strategy for the media to play a more constructive role, including advocating for changes in the law, creating "free speech" zones, strengthening the quality of journalism through training and peer evaluation, and better protecting journalists.

For a copy of the report, "Media and Conflict in Bolivia: Fostering a Constructive Role for the Media in a Situation of Vulnerable Governability", available in English and Spanish, email: [email protected]

(22 May 2007)

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