New Network of Independent Journalism Training Groups is Launched

Jun 52008
  • Knight Chair Rosental Alves and ICFJ's Joyce Barnathan welcome participants to the opening session of the conference.

  • Internews' Kathleen Reen (left) and UNDP's Bill Orme try out new digital tools in a workshop led by digital media consultant Amy Webb.

GÖTEBORG, Sweden—Leaders of the world’s top media training and development groups gathered here June 1-4 for a conference that created the first global network of independent journalism training organizations.

The four-day conference, Toward an International Network of Independent Journalism Training Organizations: Partnerships and Mentoring, Innovation and Multimedia, Sustainability and Money, was convened by the International Center for Journalists, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, and sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The conference took place during the 61st World Newspaper Congress and the 15th World Editors Forum.

The goal was to provide independent journalism training groups with cutting-edge techniques, practical training, networking opportunities, and new resources to achieve greater impact on news organizations and communities in the countries where they work. Participants also were able to develop collaborative relationships to ensure the best use of global training resources.

Highlights of the ICFJ/Knight conference:

  • Hands-on workshops designed to help independent journalism training organizations become more digitally innovative and financially sustainable
  • The kickoff of a year-long mentoring program for 26 pairs of developing- and developed-world leaders of media training groups
  • The launch of a new network of independent media training organizations able to connect through a dedicated Web site hosted by ICFJ

Comments on the conference from some of the 55 participants representing 49 organizations from 32 countries:

“Thanks to everyone at ICFJ a turned the Gothenburg Conference into an enriching mix of professionalism, experience, new contacts, newest of the new ideas and methodology, as well as excitement and fun. My batteries have been truly recharged. I can see now the optimistic future for our network launched by the ICFJ last week—which is something everyone will benefit from,” says Liudmyla Gumeniuk, director of the Media Reform Centre, Kiev, Ukraine.

“I am sure that this was a first of a kind in this field and I feel lucky to have been a part of it,” says David Johnson, director of the Mohamed Amin Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya.

“Let me also thank you and your team again for the excellent organisation and thought that went into the conference. Your hard work paid off,” says Jo Weir, Programme Director/Journalism Training, Reuters Foundation, London.

“I would like to express my appreciation for your invitation and initiative to establish the network. … We are keen to keep in touch with you and strengthen chances of collaboration to develop media freedom,” says Nidal Mansour, president of the Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), Amman, Jordan.