Democracy and the Media

Please download the full PDF here.

Democracy in South Asia – An Assessment

Eine Bestandsaufnahme

The countries of South Asia are facing a period of transition in which less the concept of democracy itself than rather its actual performance is doubted. The spirit of this is ultimately one that favours democracy. The concept itself is not rejected, but its effects on the population are cast into doubt – mainly those brought about by the political elites.


The media fulfil fundamental functions. They provide information and commentary, initiate public debate, and thereby contribute to transparency and diversity of opinion. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung believes in the following principle: anybody who wishes to support democratisation processes must also support the development of free and independent media. Encouraging freedom of the press and of opinion therefore represents a constant aspect of our work.

From Secrecy to Common Knowledge

The Right to Information in Serbia and Bulgaria

In post-communist states where democratic standards first had to be established, the laws relating to freedom of information are of particular significance. Between 1995 and 2005 many Central and Eastern European countries, such as Serbia and Bulgaria, introduced right to information laws. Today there are a larger number of these laws in the region than in Western developed countries.

Period of Grace for Asian Newspapers

The Internet Revolution Has yet to Come to the Continent

The newspaper market in China, India and Indonesia is booming. In their euphoria, many media representatives, however, overlook the fact that the Internet revolution has yet to come to this part of the world. In places where people have good access to the Internet, such as Japan and Singapore, Asian newspapers are also battling falling circulation figures. Publishers should make a start now to adjust to the new era.

Socialist Venezuela in 2014

How Did Hugo Chávez Change the State, the Economy and Society?

Hugo Chávez remained in office until his officially announced death from cancer in March 2013. When the present-day Venezuelan society is compared with that before he took office, two aspects are of particular importance: there is a proliferating state apparatus, which sees its role not merely in exercising government power, but also in social support and oversight and the dependence on revenue from oil exports.

South Africa’s Protection of State Information Bill

What Are the Lessons Learned for Africa?

The highly debated Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) in South Africa represents the first attempt of a sub-Saharan African country to create security legislation which is not based on Colonial law. It can be assumed that this law will have a significant impact on similar legislative reform processes in neighbouring countries, as South Africa acts as a role model.

Colombia: From Peace Process to Building a Country

Colombia is experiencing a phase in its history when opportunities must not remain untapped: enduring peace as well as the building of a nation based on greater participation are on the agenda. This could be the right moment to contemplate not only a post-conflict scenario but also the building of a country which is facing problems that fuelled and exacerbated the armed confrontation in the past.

Development Cooperation in 2030

Development policy will change more over the next decade than it did in previous decades. It will be less “development” and more “policy”; it will have a broader base and will become more complex; it will be more culturally sensitive and will include clearer strategic elements; and ultimately, it will no longer be “made by us”.

Development Cooperation in Times of Global Power Shift

Thoughts on Changing the Concept of Development

The concept of development in the future requires an honest culture of learning and should reward scrutiny, change and adaptation. The belief in predictability and planning has too often proved to be an illusion in Development Cooperation. Donors and development organisations should admit mistakes and misjudgements, share and communicate knowledge of this, adapt their strategies, seek solutions locally, experiment more and more rigorously scientifically test things.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

Ordering Information

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung publishes four issues of International Reports per year. Single issues: 10 €. Cheaper subscription rates. There is a special discount for students. For more information and orders, please contact:


If you wish to receive an email notification whenever a new issue is available online, please contact:


Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388

Louisa Heuss

Louisa Heuss (2020)

Desk Officer for Communication and Marketing +49 30 26996 3916 +49 30 26996 53916

Fabian Wagener

Fabian Wagener

Desk Officer for Multimedia +49 30-26996-3943