COLLABORATION AND CONVENING: A PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH TO SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM AND MEDIA

On Thursday, June 4th, The Stanley Center for Peace and Security hosted a GFMD member-only webinar. The webinar, titled “Collaboration and Convening: A Programmatic Approach to Supporting Independent Journalism and Media” outlined the work of the Stanley Center and their plan for future collaboration with the GFMD network.

In this webinar, the Stanley Center’s journalism and media team discussed how they draw from their organisation’s global peace and security priorities, operational strengths, and core values to support independent journalism in collaboration with media organisations around the world.

Overview of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security

Working internationally, the Stanley Center for Peace and Security partners with people, organisations, and the greater global community to drive policy progress in three issue areas:

  • Mitigating climate change
  • Avoiding the use of nuclear weapons
  • Preventing mass violence and atrocities

The Stanley Center values independent and accurate journalism and the role it plays in building more informed, just, and accountable societies. In collaboration with media partners around the world, the center’s journalism and media program team creates and carries out reporting trips and fellowships, journalism trainings and workshops, and other programs designed to foster rigorous and independent journalism on global challenges that cannot be solved by one country or actor alone.

The Stanley Center apply their strategies through several core approaches:

Policy Discussions

Through use of forums convened around the world, the Center allows for collaboration, networking, and the generation of new policy ideas.

Policy Analysis

The Stanley Center commission and disseminate recommendations from leading experts in the field.

Diving Policy Action

Beyond this, the organisation also works with others to connect policy ideas to collective approaches and collaboration

Journalism and Media Programming

Through programmes and activities designed for editors and journalists, the Center enables media organisations to tell important stories related to the three core issue areas.

In the past year, the Stanley Center agreed to develop a new core value that states:

We value independent, accurate journalism and the role journalists and the media play in building better-informed societies, more-accountable institutes, and effective global governance.

You can learn more about the Stanley Center’s journalism and media programming here.

Journalism and Media Programming

The organisation’s Journalism and Media Programming takes shape in several forms, including:

  • Workshops and training programmes
  • Reporting fellowships
  • Investigative reporting projects
  • Commissioning
  • Story labs
  • Networking events
  • Panels and sessions at conferences

Some examples of these projects can be found below:

Climate Reporting Fellowships

As an example of their Journalism and Media Programming, in 2016 the Stanley Center facilitated a climate reporting fellowship in collaboration with several journalism organisations, including Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. The fellowship aimed to bring journalists to the annual UN climate negotiations and were specifically geared towards journalists from developing countries and early career journalists.

“This is Not a Drill” Workshop

Focusing on the Center’s issue area of avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, the organisation hosted a 4-day journalism workshop in Hawaii. The workshop brought 17 journalists together to consider how technological innovations may increase or decrease nuclear risks and how emerging technologies create special challenges and opportunities for journalists.

Cacuta Workshop on the Prevention of Mass Violence

In efforts to prevent mass violence and atrocities, the Stanley Center brought together a team of seasoned Venezuelan journalists for a 3-day civil society workshop focusing on the prevention of mass violence.

The Impact of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for independent media and press freedom, it may provide new opportunities for extra funding and support from non-conventional or non-media donors. The pandemic has also revealed a new willingness for journalism and media organisations to collaborate and work together in efforts to overcome the effects of the crisis.

Prior to COVID-19, the Center had planned to host a series of in-person Southeast Asia Media Analysis trainings in collaboration with Climate Tracker. These tranings would have allowed journalists to carry out field reporting in areas that are transitioning away from the use of coal. When COVID-19 halted this planned programme, The Stanley Center worked with Climate Tracker to conduct research and analysis of national narratives framing coal, energy transition, and renewable energy adoption and expansion in Southeast Asia. The goal of this project was to map out how journalists are reporting on clean energy-related issues while also identifying barriers to coverage of these stories.

The Stanley Center is also working with the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) to conduct a survey of ethical practices of analysts and journalists using geospatial and open source data in reporting on nuclear security issues. A series of workshops or further related programmes may take place in late 2020 or 2021, however, this is largely dependent on the COVID-19 situation.

On the mass violence and atrocities issue area, the Center is working to commission individual journalists to better understand the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and factors for atrocities risk and resilience.

Future Collaboration

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security is open for future strategic and creative partnerships with other GFMD member organisations. If you are interested in collaborating with the Center you can find contact information below:


If you are interested in hosting a GFMD member-only webinar, please get in touch with Jordan.