Through 2018, the IWMF will launch professional development training for journalists in its African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative program countries. This includes year-long fellowships for selected participants, structured around a country-specific core curriculum and implemented by local trainers. Training modules include lessons on journalism ethics, the building blocks of a story, specialized reporting, and media leadership, with a focus on practical knowledge and case studies.
The goal of strengthening women’s voices is central to this program: at least 50% of each participant group will be women, and lessons will emphasize the importance of capturing women’s stories and perspectives.
Training is enriched by a flexible curriculum that adjusts to the skill levels and specific realities of trainees in each program country. Local trainers will include expert speakers from different sectors in their lessons; they will also work one-on-one with trainees to address individual needs. They will collaborate with participant media outlets, to ensure publication and airing of stories reported during the training and mutual benefit for local journalists and media.
The final months of each program will be dedicated to independent reporting, when training participants submit proposals for ambitious, in-depth stories to their trainers. They will receive stipends to carry out their work, while receiving coaching from trainers.
The IWMF is committed to helping all journalists better manage their safety while reporting. Under the African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative, we have trained journalists in Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda in hostile environments and first aid. This training, offered in a three-day course, prepares journalists to mitigate threat and respond to medical emergencies. It includes a combination of classroom-based lessons, and scenarios and simulations of crowd violence, kidnapping, and treatment of mass casualties.
In each country, groups of approximately 25 journalists have been trained at one time. Participants are selected through an open application process, with the assistance of IWMF contacts in country, and include both men and women (with at least 50% women in each group). We work to support journalists from diverse mediums, outlets, and levels of experience.
“The training responds to the risks that we confront. Everything was useful. Not a single thing we learned was without application.” – Trainee in Central African Republic