The Media is critical to advocacy, education, campaigns, communication, and propagation of implementation of different development agendas. They influence policy and programmatic change, highlight the plight of the voiceless, investigate and report on what works and does not work, all aspects necessary for integrating sustainable urban development into national and local development policies and plans. They may hold key stakeholders accountable for implementation of the New Urban Agenda and SDGs.
The Habitat III process recognized the need for an inclusive platform that would enable many new actors to bring their urban expertise and to engage in the elaboration of the New Urban Agenda. The result of it was the creation of the General Assembly of Partners (GAP), a pioneering participatory mechanism from other UN coordination platforms in its focus on the commonalities and abilities of groups to work together and to build consensus on issues.
The Media was recognized as a constituency of the Habitat III General Assembly of Partners that could contribute a unique and informed voice to issues of urban sustainability and was recognized as a Partner Constituency Group as an outcome of the Urban Thinkers Campus held in Caserta, Italy in October 2014. The Media Group represents those who are involved in the broad dissemination of information and data on sustainable urbanization through various forms of communication including radio, television, newspaper, magazine, and all forms of social media.
The Media group, together with the Habitat III Secretariat, led the organization of the Urban Journalism Academies (UJA) along the New Urban Agenda process. The UJA was an innovative initiative to train journalists and media professionals who were already interested or involved in urban development with reference to social and economic issues facing cities in the 21st Century. Within the period of April 2014 to December 2016, over 24 journalist academies were held all over the world and more than 1,000 journalists were trained.
Building on the active collaborative role that media played throughout the Habitat III process, the Group gathered its reflections within the Habitat III Media Roundtable in Quito. The session crystalized definitions of productive media engagement in urban issues to provide guidance to media around the world on how their activities can best support equitable and sustainable urban development.