Inter-Media Research and Consulting Europe (IRCE) and FOJO Media Institute (FOJO) have published online, an in-depth report on the challenges and training needs of exiled media practitioners.
The purpose of the report is to assess the status and professional, ethical quality of work output of FOJO’s exiled media partners. The report looks at the challenges and skill gaps they face and to identify training needs. The report also provides a baseline to measure the impact and outcome of embarked training.
The report titled independent media in exile; A baseline consultation, states that in 2011, the year of the Arab Spring and large scale street protests, the number of reporters killed rose by 16% , arrests almost doubled, with attacks and threats to journalists up by 43% and kidnappings up by a third.
The report also states that there was a 10% increase from the previous year in the number of countries routinely experiencing state censorship. The result of which, many journalists have been forced to flee their countries and operate from exile in order to carry on their work as reporters.
It indicated that a large number of particularly independent exile media organisation currently generate revenue through non-donor funding streams. Funding challenge has led a number of independent exiled media organisations to question the likelihood of achieving sustainability. The report signified that the challenge from culture and language barriers affect their application for funding since it hinders them from effectively explaining their unusual business models to donors.
It also noted that aside financial challenges, they also face staffing challenges. These have emerged in four areas which are; recruitment and retention, workload, and time management, awareness of media standards and free lance volunteering.
The report expressed the need for donors and trainers to address the expressed technical requirements and organisational challenges of the participating media organisations. The report suggested that trainers can assist exile media organisations by helping them understand the composition and information needs of their varied target audience including donors.
FOJO has trained 50,000 journalists from more than 90 countries and has, as a core competence, the creation and development of independent media institutes in countries as diverse as Palestine, Sri Lanka, Belarus and Zimbabwe.
FOJO has been commissioned to design and deliver a three-year programme of training interventions to strengthen the organisational capacity of their partners in exile, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
IRCE is an independent non-profit research centre, providing insight-driven research in developing countries. IRCE conducts applied research, technical training and knowledge-sharing workshops globally.
Inter media and FOJO believe this report will stimulate and encourage others to ask important questions about how they design and deliver journalism training, both now and in the future.
For more on this report, click here.