In 2016, we launched ‘No News is Bad News’, our new Strategic Partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over the next five years, we will be working together with the European Journalism Centre (EJC) to implement this programme in 17 countries – from Bangladesh to Somalia.
Our objective: to promote societies where independent media organisations and journalists form a diverse and professional information landscape and serve as drivers and catalysts for change. This objective explicitly goes beyond our mission to promote press freedom. We want to help media organisations and individual journalists to fulfil their vital role in society. The unbiased, reliable information they provide to the public is of crucial importance for citizens and civil society organisations who wish to influence the development of their communities (we refer you to our Theory of Change). For example, in 2016, we trained 16 Nepalese journalists in the basics of investigative journalism. Among other things, they learned how to produce well-researched stories about domestic violence and the trading of girls as ‘chattel’.
We also worked together with existing and prospective partners on the organisation of so-called baseline workshops – in 13 of the 17 countries we are active in. In the case of the other four, this is the first time we will be working in these countries – meaning that we needed more time to prepare. We will be holding the baseline workshops for these countries in 2017. In these baseline workshops, we lay the groundwork for our long-term collaboration with these local partners. We analyse the country’s existing media environment, examine which support our partners require in the context of their influencing activities and determine whether their organisations are ready to set to work on the new programme (we also refer you to our Theory of Change).