back to News

IAMCR pre-conference in Colombia co-hosted by GFMD

03 July 2017
Topics: Research, Knowledge Sharing, Conference
 (photo: )

This pre-conference will bring together academics and practitioners working on various aspects of foreign aid and philanthropy designed to support freedom of expression, access to information, and to contribute to improving journalism and information ecosystems.

The 2017 IAMCR pre-conference on ‘Reflections on Foreign Aid, Philanthropy and Change in Media Systems’ will facilitate a conversation about the impact that foreign aid and development assistance has had in Latin America and Africa, and how this has affected the development of a critical and independent media sector.

In an environment where media and media development are in a state of flux due to digitalisation, globalisation, and paradigm shifts in thinking related to democratisation and democracy promotion, this pre-conference seeks to engage with concerns and question related to the value and purpose of media development programmes and the influence of international aid on journalism. Such a conversation is extremely timely as it comes amidst worsening conditions for media development work as the sector is reeling under pressure from illiberal governments and the collapse of traditional institutional and economic frameworks for independent media.

The purpose of this pre-conference is to:

  • Encourage the development of an international network of media development researchers.
  • Foster collaboration, coordination, and networking between researchers – including applied researchers, practitioner researchers and academic researchers. Researchers from both social science and humanities traditions are welcome.
  • Improve cross-cultural and historical understandings of the ideas and motivations that underpin media development and international assistance targeted at journalism.
  • Consider issues of how digitalisation and technological developments have created the need to conceptualise media development.
  • Problematise how a post-truth, post-fact era bears upon the world of media development and journalism
  • Critically reflect on the issue of how to measure and assess the impact of media development and journalism assistance programs as well as to support the research and body of evidence that is being generated from both academics and practitioners.

Date and Location:

15 July 2017, 9:00 – 17:30

Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar (Sede Manga)

Campus Manga: Calle del Bouquet cra.21 #25-92, Cartagena, Bolívar

Cartagena, Colombia


9:00 – 9:15

Coffee and Tea

9:15 – 9:30

Opening Remarks

-        Paul Rothman, Center for International Media Assistance

-        Chris Paterson, University of Leeds

-        Ricardo Corredor, FNPI/GFMD

9:30 – 11:00

Systems, ownership and the enabling environment for media development

-        Discussant: Maria Segura

-        Olaf Steenbladt ‘The Media Ownership Monitor’

-        Guy Berger ‘How can the media development community foster political change for more supportive environments for independent media?’

-        Catalina Montoya Londono ‘(Title TBD) Colombia and a      (neo)liberal besieged media model’ 

11:00 – 11:15

Coffee and Tea

11:15 – 12:45  

Shifting foreign, diplomatic and international development priorities in the West: Implications for Media Development and Media Research

      -     Discussant: Nick Benequista

      -     James Deane, BBC Media Action

      -     Ricardo Corredor, FNPI

      -     Tara Susman-Pena, IREX

      -     Suzanne Temwa Harris ‘An analytical shift: The inclusion of                   foreign aid in media research’

12:45 – 14:00

Lunch and Keynote Address: Silvio Waisbord

14:00 – 15:30

Development Assistance and independent journalism in Africa and Latin America: A cross-national and multidisciplinary research network

-        Discussant: Chris Paterson

-        Maria Soledad Segura “The impact of foreign aid in Latin American popular communication”

-        Jairo Lugo-Ocando 

-        Cosette Castro “International support to Brazil and Latin America in the field of digital communications during the last 20 years”

-        Audrey Gadzekpo

-        Herman Wasserman

15:30 – 15:45

Coffee and Tea

15:45 – 17:15

Media development in fragile environments

-        Discussant: Winston Mano

-        Saumava Mitra ‘Donor initiatives in journalism training in conflict-affected countries: Three criticisms and a way forward’

-        Susan Abbott ‘Can Media Development Contribute to Trust Building?’

-        Nancy Mbaya ‘The role of female journalists in changing media narratives about conflict coverage: Case study of the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria’

-        Paul Falzone ‘Rapping journalists, pirate cinemas and boomerang effects: Lessons in user centered design from Newz Beat Uganda’

17:15 – 17:30


-        TBD


There is no cost to attend this Pre-Conference. All interested attendees are, however, required to register.  It is encouraged, but not required, to submit a paper. We’ve outlined our ideas for what we are looking for in the call below.

Contact information:

Paul Rothman ([email protected] ) / Tel: +1 (202) 378-9531

For more information on this Pre-Conference, or to register, send an email to: [email protected] .

For updated information on the preconference, please go to:


  • Paul Rothman and Nicholas Benequista, Center for International Media Assistance, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Chris Paterson and Jairo Lugo-Ocando, the Aid and Journalism Network Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) with support from the University of Leeds
  • Winston Mano and Susan Abbott, CAMRI, University of Westminster
  • Anne Marie Hammer and Ricardo Corredor, Global Forum for Media Development