The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), at the forefront of the nation’s ruling landscape, has unveiled a comprehensive manifesto marked by its commitment to elevating media freedom and bolstering the governance and accountability system.
A core proposal within the MDP’s manifesto revolves around the allocation of a dedicated percentage of the state budget to media outlets. This allocation is poised to benefit media establishments that fulfill stringent criteria established by law. The objective of this proposition is to curtail reliance on financial capacities, ensuring an impartial distribution of resources across the media landscape.
The manifesto elaborates on seven distinct measures aimed at fortifying media freedom while fostering a conducive environment for transparent governance. A central pillar of these measures lies in enhancing the Maldives Media Council (MMC), furnishing it with the means to address self-governance and registration concerns within the media realm. Additionally, the MDP aims to champion accurate and verified information, reinforcing the authenticity of news and reports disseminated by media entities.
In pursuit of these media-centric goals, the manifesto underscores the significance of law-backed provisions to safeguard content creators, especially those engaged in Maldivian streaming services, podcasting, and various online platforms. This safeguarding mechanism extends to the provision of legal protection and support.
A major breakthrough arises with the MDP’s proposition to channel a predetermined portion of the state budget to media outlets. The criteria for eligibility, firmly entrenched in the legal framework, ensure fair and impartial distribution through a rating system aligned with global standards.
Acknowledging the need for skill enhancement, the manifesto seeks to empower the media landscape through training initiatives. These encompass community-based journalism, freelance journalism, and digital content creation, nurturing a thriving ecosystem of content creators.
Further fostering the creative landscape, the MDP introduces a bold policy to financially support digital content creators, streaming services, podcasting, publishers, filmmakers, documentary producers, and authors. The SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) is envisioned as a conduit for this financial boost.
Accessibility and inclusivity form integral tenets of the manifesto’s vision. Ensuring that news and information disseminated by state media remains accessible to individuals with disabilities showcases a commitment to inclusivity. In tandem, the MDP’s pledge to cultivate fresh journalistic talent through training and educational initiatives underscores the party’s enduring commitment to the media’s vitality.