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Research on Journalism Training and Media Development

This section is intended to help people who are planning or running journalism training and media development programs. There is a lot of useful research that has been done on best practices and we have narrowed it down for your convenience so that you can read about the experiences of groups around the world who are involved in training. We have included some of the more interesting studies we have found on the role the media play in promoting development.

This section is intended to help people who are planning or running journalism training and media development programs. There is a lot of useful research that has been done on best practices and we have narrowed it down for your convenience so that you can read about the experiences of groups around the world who are involved in training. We have included some of the more interesting studies we have found on the role the media play in promoting development. Specifically, there are studies on programs by organizations such as USAID, Knight International Press Fellows, Global Forum for Media Development, and Sida; UNESCO's reports on media in transition; and the BBC Trust's proposals for media development in Africa. With these reports, we show a summary of the report and a list of key lessons learned, recommendations and findings.

Surveying these studies, we noticed there were particular findings, lessons learned and recommendations that came up repeatedly:

  • Media development requires a long-term commitment. Short-term and ad hoc trainings, such as two-day seminars, are insufficient.
  • Language and cultural barriers between foreign trainers and local trainees can greatly hamper the effectiveness of trainings.
  • Universities with media programs should be considered an important part of the training solution, and should not be excluded.
  • The problems are local, therefore the solutions should be local. Local media professionals and NGOs should be a part of the design and implementation of programs.
  • Cooperation and coordination between local and international media development organizations, media associations, and donors is essential for information sharing, exchange of experiences in best practices, and coordinated efforts in program design and implementation.
  • Journalism trainings alone are insufficient. Journalism and media development must take a holistic approach, including on-site journalism trainings, advocacy pressuring the government for press freedom laws, and business trainings for media managers to make media sustainable.
  • Monitoring and evaluation should play a more prominent role at the very beginning of project and program design.
  • Poor pay is a major barrier to objective reporting by media workers, making them vulnerable to bribes and bias. Training alone won’t necessarily raise pay or promote better reporting.