Jun 102011

Peruvian Network Provides Its First Online Regional News Coverage during Presidential Election

Many voters across Peru were able for the first time to see local coverage of the hotly-contested June 5, 2011, presidential runoff by watching reports online and on the air, thanks to a year-long project by Knight International Journalism Fellow Hena Cuevas.

In five provincial areas of Peru, TV stations that belong to the Red TV network produced Election Day stories and uploaded them to YouTube.

Knight Fellow Hena Cuevas, in a Skype interview from Peru, discusses how provincial TV stations were able to contribute stories to a national news program. It was a new feature that was part of the Knight Fellowship efforts to improve political coverage in the country.

Knight International Journalism Fellow Hena Cuevas discusses Peru's most recent general election in a Skype interview from Lima.

Reporting Across Cultures: Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age

Journalists from across the Arab world, North America, Europe, Pakistan and Indonesia participated in an online training course entitled “Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age.” Select participants were chosen to participate in a conference in Alexandria, Egypt in February 2010 that focused on freedom of expression and reporting on Muslim-West relations.

Peru: Create the First Broadcast Training Center

Hena Cuevas trained broadcast news reporters and producers in Peru to improve the quality of news reports and increase local news in national coverage. Her partner, the National Association of Local Television Channels (Red TV), is Peru’s largest network of local TV stations, an alliance of 40 independent channels that reaches more than a third of Peru’s TV viewers. She has created a two-person training team that is working with Red TV’s affiliates to improve everything from reporting standards to camera work.

Ghana: Promoting Free and Fair Election Coverage

Knight International enabled journalists in Ghana to generate balanced reports on their country's 2008 presidential election. Knight Fellow Alison Bethel produced a first-of-its-kind election handbook that journalists used to focus on important issues and avoid stories that fuel partisan strife. The handbook was widely distributed to journalists throughout the capital.

India: Make Government Data More Accessible to Journalists

Kannaiah Venkatesh's new association, Journalists for eGovernance and Transparency, helps reporters and freedom-of-information activists use the 2005 Right to Information (RTI) Act to produce investigative stories. The association protects the identity of journalists and activists seeking information by submitting RTI requests on their behalf, critically important in the region.

Guinea: Helping Journalists Hold Officials Accountable

In a country where a stable government is slowly starting to emerge after years of conflict, Knight International worked with radio journalists to monitor political leaders. Knight Fellow Vianney Missumbi also helped improve election coverage, despite repeated postponements of the vote. He revived a journalism association and enabled reporters to break stories that are prompting local officials to address important issues.

Liberia: Bolstering Coverage of the Courts in Post-Conflict Era

Marquita Smith is a Knight International Journalism Fellow who helped launch the Judicial Reporters Network in Liberia. Smith formed this association and trained its members to cover the country’s fledgling legal system. Inspired by Smith, Ora Garway, a journalist in the association, launched a newspaper called The Punch that focuses on legal reporting. Garway was the country’s first woman managing editor. Smith returned to Liberia in June 2010 to help Garway develop a business plan for the new newspaper and create a website featuring coverage of the justice system.

The Election 2008 Visiting Journalists Program

Readers and listeners all over the world enjoyed special insight into the U.S. presidential election as a result of the Elections 2008 Visiting Journalists Program, which brought 48 journalists from 46 countries to cover the historic campaign and vote.