For the past seven and one-half years, I have spent large portions of each year doing media-development work–most of it training of journalists or journalism students–in four countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and in Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inevitably, my own experiences and observations about what works and what doesn’t, and what is really important in this work, have passed through my mind while researching and writing this report. None of them is unique, but it may be useful to list what I consider my three strongest lessons from nearly a dozen different training projects.
Thank you for allowing me and my colleagues the opportunity to testify before you today. As you know, more than a year ago, I and 42 other NGO workers were convicted in an Egyptian court for working on programs designed to build democracy, monitor elections and train political parties and journalists. We were given sentences ranging from one to five years in prison. Most people who knew about the case probably think it was resolved long ago.
The Global Investigative Journalism Network has joined the Global Forum for Media Development, a membership network of more than 200 media assistance organizations active in 80 countries. The Brussels-based GFMD works to make independent media development an integral part of international development strategies, much as education and health care are today.