GFMD leverages the expertise that exists within journalism support and media development sector to deliver up-to-date, relevant knowledge and experience to its members as well as the wider community. This knowledge-sharing is operationalised through networking activities during which GFMD members share ideas, experience, and best practices.

A key achievement in 2018 was the launch of multiple working groups for GFMD members which are platforms that enable an exchange of know-how and skills between organisations operating in contrasting environments.

Internet Governance (IG) Working Group

From the spread of dis/misinformation to the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet policy and governance is increasingly becoming an area relevant to the journalism support and media development community. In response, GFMD launched a working group focusing on Internet governance and policy after the 2017 global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, after co-organising the first-annual Media Development Symposium at the IGF. One of the group’s first follow-up tasks was to formulate a clear and concise agenda by outlining key issues relevant to the journalism support and media development community vis-à-vis Internet policy-making, development, and regulation, as well as provide recommendations for common priority areas of engagement. We finalised this task in 2018 when we launched our issue paper on Internet governance and media development, and are now working to implement its recommendations such as launching an IGF Dynamic Coalition and facilitating more involvement from journalists and news media organisations in Internet policy fora.

Drawing on some of the major themes identified in our issue paper that reflect current challenges to the digital landscape, we plan to address the relationship between digital markets/economy, platforms, and sustainable journalism in 2019. Specifically, our advocacy efforts will focus on how the underlying mechanisms of the digital economy enable the manipulation of online spaces and the proliferation of dis/misinformation in three key fora/processes: the RightsCon Summit Series, the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), and the annual IGF in 2019.

If you are interested in joining this working group, please subscribe to the mailing list or contact: moghia@gfmd.info.

Women in Media (WiM) Working Group

The Women in Media working group was launched in March 2018. The group consists of individuals from our member organisations working on gender and diversity topics.

The working group connects members through bi-monthly online meetings, creating a space within which those working on gender issues in media development can share experiences, knowledge, tools, and information about events, summits and conferences, and coordinate advocacy initiatives.

In the course of the first year we have learned about global gender media monitoring tools developed concurrently by Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Press Forward initiative by International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), research implemented by Fojo Media Institute, the female journalism safety programmes of International Media Support (IMS), FPU and IREX, Internews’ United for News Gender Initiative, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) activities related to fighting hate speech online and WAN-IFRA’s Women in News programme.

The group regularly discusses the various gender policies of media development organisations, best practices and diversity standards within newsroom with the view to share documents, and research that can be used both by newsrooms and the donor community.

Currently the group includes members from Panos West Africa, Latin-America-based Sembra Media, Brazilian investigative journalism platform Abraji, and media support group Nai Supporting Media in Afghanistan, DW Akademie, Media and Diversity Institute, Fondation Hirondelle, International Center for Journalists, International Media Support, Free Press Unlimited, Internews, International Federation of Journalists, WAN-IFRA and IREX.

If you are interested in this working group and would like to join us, please contact: jhiggins@gfmd.info

SDG 16.10 – Access to Information Working Group

GFMD is launching national, multi-stakeholder consultations on shadow reporting for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.10, particularly target 16.10.2, along with identified civil society groups, information commissioners, and local partners in Tanzania, Serbia, and Pakistan. We aim to collaborate on the process of data gathering and where appropriate, production of shadow reports based on the FOIAnet civil society template.

GFMD will continue to lobby, along with its working group members, for additional states to produce Voluntary National Reports (VNR) on SDG 16 as well as for the inclusion of provincial and non-official source data in the reporting process.

The SDG Data Initiative will produce a report that will include both official and unofficial sources, covering all the targets. This report will be used to present during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) as well as in all the preparatory meetings. GFMD will be responsible for overseeing the Data Initiative report for which it plans to use data from mostly FOIAnet and ARTICLE 19. GFMD is responsible both for SDG 16.10.1 and 16.10.1 indicators in the report.

If you are interested in being part of this working group, please contact: projects@gfmd.info

Research, Impact, and Learning Working Group

In the last year, GFMD has launched a Research and Learning Working Group to mobilise conversations towards tracking best practices in the media development sector. Thus far, the group has explored benchmarking theories of change, donor assistance policies as well common standards for efficient journalism support. The group has secured the commitment of academics in the field along with media development organisations including la Fondation Hirondelle, Free Press Unlimited, International Media Support, BBC Media Action and IREX.

The aims of the group include deliberating the available research, data, and evidence related to issues of impact, standards, and learning in journalism and media development as well as driving dialogue on the topics of funding, sustainability, and impact assessment and learning. With the group, we strive to build bridges between scholars and practitioners and to support collaborative approaches to researching media and development issues.

An OECD DAC/SIDA/NED CIMA donors meeting will take place in Paris at the end of January where GFMD will be on the agenda to present our research on donor funding as well as a joint advocacy statement from the community.

To learn more about this working group and join us, please contact: director@gfmd.info

Local and Community Media Working Group

The Local and Community Media Working Group aims to bring together international actors who are working to support the sustainability of local and community media organisations. The group will serve as a forum for the collaborative discussion of ideas and solutions to the core threats to the viability of local media. In order to launch and consolidate the group, GFMD is providing a platform for members to discuss the sharing of tools, experiences, and knowledge regarding local media. The main objective of this new platform is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and solutions to the primary problems faced by local and community media organisations. Additionally, the platform will ensure better coordination of advocacy efforts within the field of media development.

Additionally, GFMD offers a range of capacity building webinars in our resource centre, which can be accessed here.

If you would like to learn more and join our Local and Community Media Working Group, please contact: projects@gfmd.info

CSO Journalism Safety Coalition

GFMD is an active member of a coalition of international civil society organisations (CSO) working to secure the safety of journalists in a number of pilot countries in various regions of the Global South.

The group is comprised of media development, freedom of expression, and trade union organisations with journalism safety programmes in various countries and regions. The group was established to improve coordination efforts on the ground in 6 pilot countries, to take advantage of synergy effects from improved communication, and to avoid duplication of training and advocacy efforts. Plans for 2019 include mapping existing standards and practices by governmental and non-governmental organisations at the international, regional, national, and local level and extracting and sharing lessons learned, as well as exchanging information about the chances and opportunities to contribute to the formulation of recommendations of international standards to foster safety of journalists, including gender-based safety standards.

For more information about the coalition, please contact: director@gfmd.info