Fojo Media Institute - fojo international

About Fojo International

Fojo is Sweden’s leading media development centre for professional journalists. The institute started in 1972 and is now part of the Linnaeus University with a special commission to support free and independent media, nationally and internationally.

Over the years, Fojo has trained 50 000 journalists from more than 90 countries.

Since 1991, Fojo has been engaged in international media support and has capacitated journalists, media houses and media institutes in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the MENA region as well as Eastern and Central Europe.

2015 Fojo is coordinating long-term projects supporting professional, free and independent media in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Iran, Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, Tibet, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Foto: Karl NilssonFojo has a permanent staff of around 20 persons, including project managers all with journalistic backgrounds. Fojo also employs some 70-80 experts on project-basis as trainers and managers of national and international media-supporting activities.

The institute has from the start consciously developed a participatory, democratic and process-oriented approach in all media development activities, based on local ownership and a partnership approach when engaging internationally.

Fojo Media Institute is at the heart of media development, with a core competence in individual and institutional capacity building. However, Fojo’s contributions are always based on strategic decisions, coordinating with different partners in order to achieve an optimal impact

 

Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a vibrant media landscape with nearly 200 national newspapers and 50 TV stations, and the sector is growing rapidly. Together with our local partner MRDI, Fojo is working with the main media houses and the most skilled male and female journalists to improve investigative journalism in a five-year project initiated in 2016.

We believe that the journalists and editors themselves are the true experts who know how to make improvements, so the program is designed to meet the requirements from our partners and the activities are customized.

We provide support in the areas of media management, research and presentation techniques, safety and security and ethics in reporting, with a constant focus on achieving results through getting more and better investigative stories published in Bangladeshi media.

Belarus

Fojo supports the development of free, professional and independent media in Belarus through a wide range of courses and activities. Fojo has worked in Belarus since 1997 and so far more than 2000 Belarusian journalists have taken part in Fojo's training activities. Presently Fojo has two local partners in Belarus: the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the Institute of Journalism at the Belarusian State University (BGU).

The few independent media in Belarus that still exist under the totalitarian regime, work under harsh conditions. Fojo is one of few international organizations allowed to work with media development inside Belarus.

The on going programme “Supporting Independent Media in Belarus” offers a wide range of courses. The project offers courses focusing on topics such as political reporting, on-line journalism, economic reporting, photojournalism and much more. Fojo also provides special training for journalists who aim to become professional media trainers (training of trainers). As a part of the exchange with BGU, Belarusian student journalists are invited to Sweden to study the role of news media in a functioning democracy.

Fojo's role is to:

  • Support the development of free, professional and independent media in Belarus.

  • Capacitate the Belarusian Association of Journalists in their work to promote quality journalism and ethical standards among Belarusian journalists.

  • Provide students and teachers at the Institute of Journalism (Belarusian State University) with international references and facilitate modernization of the curricula of the institute.

  • Introduce the concept of media literacy (critical media analysis) among students and university teachers in Belarus. The concept of media literacy was previously unknown in Be- larus, but has been piloted as a new subject in a number of public schools in Minsk, thanks to the programme. Media literacy is often described as the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and produce com- munication in a variety of forms. Raised awareness about how media functions and operates, as well as developed critical thinking and skills to diversify sources of information, are important steps in a pro- cess towards a more democratic Belarusian society.

Fojo's programme in Belarus is financed by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Björn Nordling: Mina erfarenheter från Vitryssland

BY Bjorn Nordling 1Hur är det att som svensk journalist vara kursledare på en internationell Fojokurs? Nyligen hölls en kurs i sportjournalistik i Vitryssland, och här berättar kursledaren Björn Nordling.

Ja, jag tar det!
Min första spontana reaktion var omedelbar när Fojo hörde av sig och frågade om jag ville vara med i ett utbyte och föreläsa för vitryska lärare och journalister. Jag jobbar som journalist på SVT sport sen många år och har alltid älskat kontakten med andra kulturer.

Fojo partners standing up against threats on media in Zimbabwe

Media advocacy bodies, partners in the Fojo managed Swedish media development programme in Zimbabwe, have voiced concern against threats to the private media by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting Services.

George Charamba, who is also Presidential Spokesman, said he would bring stringent measures against private media. During an interview with News dzeZimbabwe an online publication, George Charamba accused the media of being a publicity extension for opposition parties, and that they are using “manipulative reporting” by focusing on divisions within the ruling party, Zanu PF.

Fojo volunteers to Kigali

RW Volontarer HT2016Ylva M Andersson, Felix Larnö, Daniel Jonsson, Anna Tainio, Ia Wadendal, Tomas Jennebo and Håkan Montelius. Not part of the photos, but also part of this great group: Niclas Ericsson, Annelie Frank and Victoria Engstrand-Neacsu.Fojo has gathered the first group of Swedish journalists who has joined Fojo´s new volunteering program in Kigali, Rwanda. The aim of the program is to to support and strengthen the School of Journalism and Communication in order to make the education more practical, professional and student focused. In September the first group of volunteers will travel to Kigali.

-We are delighted over the big interest from Swedish journalists that wants to work as volunteers in Rwanda, says Johan Romare, International Director. We have great hopes to introduce the volunteer program also to other countries where Fojo work.

The project will be ongoing for at least three more years and is funded by Sida.

History

Fojo is Sweden’s leading media development centre for professional journalists. The institute started in 1972 and is now part of the Linnaeus University with a special commission to support free and independent media, nationally and internationally.

Fojo courses and consultancies offered to Swedish media houses cover a wide range of subjects, for example editing, media convergence, media management, investigative reporting and special fields like elections, economics, crime, environment, consumer politics and reporting on children’s issues. Since 1991, Fojo has been engaged in international media support and has capacitated journalists, media houses and media institutes in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the MENA region as well as Eastern and Central Europe.

2015 Fojo is coordinating long-term projects supporting professional, free and independent media in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Iran, Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, Tibet, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Fojo has a permanent staff of around 20 persons, including project managers all with journalistic backgrounds. Fojo also employs some 70-80 experts on project-basis as trainers and managers of national and international media-supporting activities. Fojo is competent in LFA and RBM methodologies for project planning, implementation and reporting processes. On an average Fojo is managing media development projects with budget totals of 2,000,000-2,500,000 Euro per year, covered by agreements and contracts mainly with Sida and other Scandinavian donors but also by different EU and UN-funded programmes.

Fojo history-2

Jean Mujati Recruited to Fojo Project in Zimbabwe

JeanMujati färgAfter working in four countries Jean Mujati is now back in Zimbabwe.-I have the fun part of the job where I am on the ground to observe what people do. We have a partner that work with legislation, another that works with community radio and a youth partner working with new media. It is all very exiting and very fun, says Jean Mujati.

She is newly recruited by Fojo Media Institute to work with the project in Zimbabwe.

The Fojo project in Zimbabwe aims to strengthen freedom of expression and a professional and independent media sector, serving democracy, human rights and national development.

Journalists in Exile Face New Challenges

Fojo ExiledMedia forumMats Djurberg, UNESCO; Öystein Alme, Voice of Tibet and Emin Milli, Meydan TV, discuss how journalists work in repressive environments.Journalists from 13 countries, forced to flee repressive media environments, met in Stockholm this week to share experiences and discuss the future.
Reporters and editors from countries as diverse as South Sudan, Tibet and Azerbaijan gathered to exchange stories of state harassment, threats, imprisonment and violence and to have training in online security and business development.

- It is easy to think that it is only yourself that is having problems, but meeting these other people who are also struggling with their independence is very important, said Hong Sar from Mizzima Media Group in Myanmar.

Kenya

To speak out and report about corruption can be risky in Kenya – even though corruption is viewed as one of the major problems. The lack of access to information about public funds disbursements makes it practically impossible to follow the money, especially by citizens. This makes the public funds very vulnerable to capture.

Bureaucratic obstacles as well as attitudes of over-protectiveness and suspicion frequently hamper free access to information. Kenyan journalists and human rights activists have generally little knowledge of how to access, assess and communicate information about government budgets – journalism training does not generally provide for specialization in economic or financial reporting.

However, the media's, civil society's and the government monitoring functions can reduce capture of public funds through provision of information on disbursements to citizens.

Action for Transparency is a pioneering concept by Fojo Media Institute that fights corruption and mismanagement of government funds by putting the power to change in the hands of citizens. 

By using a mobile phone or a computer with Internet access, anyone will be able to check the amount of government resources pledged to each school and health clinic within certain areas. If this does not match reality, you can report to Transparency International Kenya, using the App or the Web. Read more about Action for Trancparancy project here.

Up to 2,000 journalists, civil society activists and civil servants in the wider Embakasi area in Nairobi will be trained to access, assess and communicate information on government budgeting. In May 2015, a public awareness campaign was launched, promoting the app/web and inspiring journalists, civil servants, civil society activists and citizens to report on suspected corruption and mismanagement of public funds.

School Kenya 2

Mediebistånd ämne vid ministerbesök på Fojo

Ministerbesök 1 1Biståndsminister Isabella Lövin (mp) har gästat Fojo för att få mer inblick i Fojos internationella arbete, diskutera mediebistånd och förutsättningarna för journalister och journalistiken. Också svenska journalisters arbete och de alltmer frekventa hoten mot yrkesgruppen diskuterades.
–Vi kan konstatera att situationen i Sverige blir mer lik situationen i de länder vi arbetar i, inte tvärtom. Det är oroväckande, konstaterade Lars Tallert, tf chef för Fojos internationella avdelning. Fojo har unik erfarenhet att arbeta med frågor om journalistikens förutsättningar.

Myanmar

The landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party in Myanmar in late 2015 has provided renewed hope for further change after a marked slowdown in media reform efforts.
Since 2011, significant reforms in the media sector have taken place, owever, much remains to be done and the onus is now on the NLD-led government and Myanmar’s journalists to carry forward the progress and safeguard press freedom.

The massive socio-economic change across all sections of Myanmar society has given the media a new role in supporting the democratization of the country and has highlighted both the need for training in basic journalism skills, values and attitudes to raise standards in the industry, and the need for local trainers to sustain and embed the training in the country's newsrooms.

The media in Myanmar is predominantly produced by young, inexperienced journalists without formal journalism training and the need for training is pressing.

Fojo has been active in Myanmar since 2011, supporting exiled media. In 2012 Fojo started working with a number of Myanmar partners, engaged in establishing entry-level and mid-career training for journalists. In cooperation with local partners Fojo is offering training according to local needs, such as basic skills, news room management, training of trainers and more.

Furthermore, Fojo supports Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI), the country's first national, independent journalism school. The MJI has been established in close collaboration with the Myanmar media industry and a number of international media development partners (Fojo, IMS, CFI and DWA).

MJI started offering a part-time diploma for working journalists in 2014. Full-time diploma courses and further training for working journalists will be introduced during 2015. Fojo is also supporting MJI in developing curricula, training of trainers, and by providing funding for training courses and equipment.

Fojo's work in Myanmar has a strong focus on gender. As part of Fojo's cooperation with MJI, a first study to highlight the role of women within the Myanmar media industry has been conducted. You can read the study here. The study has been well received among local media professionals and will be followed by gender-sensitizing training of media organizations and trainers/lecturers.
A pilot project to support women's organizations to start up community radio stations has also been initiated. 

Fojo's engagement in Myanmar is a part of a larger media development program run by International Media Support (IMS), supported by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. In April 2016, IMS and Fojo Media Institute have embarked on a new three year programme that focuses on the further development of:

  • media-related law and policy-making;
  • the professionalisation of journalists and ethical standards;
  • community media and access to information.

Partners:
Myanmar Journalism Association 
Myanmar Journalism Network 
MML 
IMS 

Myanmar media landscape in transition

 

Aung San Suu Kyi Photo: Shawn LanderszFirst polls show Aung San Suu Kyi to become leader in Myanmar. Photo: Shawn Landersz under Creative Commons 2.0

The Myanmar election has led to new questions regarding the development of a free media sector in the country. With the final polls still unknown, Myanmar journalists call for higher professional standards as well as the necessity of a media trained official sector.

”The new government needs to be familiar with media and understand the media culture. This applies not only to the ruling government but all politicians should understand how to deal with media,” said Eaint Khine Oo, editor of election news room, Burma News International.

Myit Ma Kha News Agency Myanmar

Myanmar: Changing for the future

– One of our biggest challenges in Myanmar is to make the change our self's to not being censored so much anymore. To write fair and balanced news stories, says Cherry Htike, editor at Myit Ma Kha News Agency. Even the older staff that is used not to.
– Some of them have only worked under military rule, and can find it hard to adjust to the new, freer situation.

Cherry's concern is shared by many, especially among the younger generation and women. There seems to be a strict hierarchy ruled by age and even though the senior reporters have all been calling for more freedom for the press, the way they are used to working is maybe hard to change.
– We have been struggling under censorship, says Cherrie but now we are getting some freedom, maybe not much but some. We have to change with it.

Russia

Democracy and the free media in Russia emerged strongly in the 1990s, but today the situation is much different. The Russian journalists are working in a deteriorating media and legislative environment. Russia has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for a working journalist.

SPeter0702 021Fojo has implemented journalist training programs in Russia since 1995, in cooperation with local partners. The programs have been designed for journalists in print, web and broadcast media.

 

Seminars have covered a wide range of subjects such as investigative reporting, journalistic ethics, media management, web-editing, training of trainers.

 

Fojo projects have been of great significance for about 4000 journalists, media managers, editors and journalism students who has participated in Fojo´s educational programs in Russia from 1996 to beginning of 2017.

Rwanda

Through a four year programme of capacity building Fojo Media Institute together with the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Rwanda, and financed by the Swedish government, aim to create a school of excellence to educate the Rwandan journalists of tomorrow.

Mission
1. The programme will strengthen the academic and professional advancement of the staff at the SJC. The curriculum and syllabus will be developed further and a Masters Degree in Journalism and Communication studies will be established.
2. Trainers will help students understand media’s social, economic and political role in a democracy and make sure they are able to conduct professional journalism in an evolving media landscape. The needs of students will be monitored and addressed.
3. Journalism education and training at SJC will be more adapted to the needs of the professional demands of the media industry as well as contributing significantly to Rwandan media reforms.
4. The SJC regional and international networks will be improved and exchange programmes for teachers and students explored. The programme will engage regional and international journalists within the media industry to train the students as well as establish networks for future collaboration.
5. The professional working relations and exchanges between the Rwandan media industry and SJC will be improved and extended.
6. Finally, more efficient institutional, administrative and management structures and routines will be established at SJC.

The program has commissioned Transparency International Rwanda to do a baseline study and eight background analysis of the media context and the environment in which SJC operates. You can find the study and the analysis here.

RW SJC banner 920

Somalia

Somalia might be at a turning point, with prospects of changing a political and humanitarian crisis for peace, stability and development. However, the situation is fragile and Somalia is still considered a failed state and one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

In this context a free, independent and professional media is highly relevant to the Somali citizens. Not least from a peace building perspective as media has the potential both to incite and fuel conflict, and to defuse and contribute to resolving conflict.

2013 Fojo supported Puntland to develop its first media law that was passed by the cabinet. 

Fojo also drafted a Code of Conduct for elections reporting together with the Media Association of Puntland (MAP). 

Based on the experiences from Puntland Fojo and its partner International Media Support (IMS) are preparing for a broad media development programme in Somalia. The programme will be implemeneted in close partnership with Somali media and addresses the challenges of the sector in three focus areas: Media freedom, Media independence and Journalistic quality.

Somaila multimedia

 

South Sudan

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. Being the youngest nation on Earth, the challenges are many. 

SouthSudanCorruption, impunity and lack of accountability is widespread and journalism has not yet developed into the watchdog so badly needed to assist in bringing accountability and good governance about.

Fojo Media Institute was engaged in training journalists already prior to the referendum in 2011. Since then, we have been engaged in setting up the first Media Development Centre in South Sudan together with IMS and Norwegian People's Aid

However, as the instability in South Sudan is increasing, process is put on hold and the future of the Centre is uncertain.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is slowly reocvering from 30 years of civil war, during which the media was under siege. Fojo’s two main partners are contributing to proffessional standards in the media and advocating for continous reforms allowing every man, woman, boy and girl to express themselves freely and have access to relevant information.

Fojo worked in Sri Lanka between 2003 -2013, a long-term involvement that supported the establishment of an infrastructure for the media with the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) and the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ) based in Colombo. In the North, Fojo was engaged between 2007-2013, with the Media Resources and Training Centre, attached to the Unversity of Jaffna, assisting in training the next generation of young journalists and establishing the first journalism degree course in the Tamil language.

SLPI, SLCJ, PCCSL and MRTC are now key actors in the Sri Lankan media development scene, and at the same time struggling to become sustainable beyond donor funding. This move from donor-funded to a self-sustaining model is immensely challenging for Fojo’s partners in Sri Lanka and requires confidence and strategic vision to achieve the free, independent and professional media the country deserves.

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Phone: +46 (0) 480 44 64 00 Address: Linnéuniversitetet, fojo, 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden Visiting Address: Gröndalsvägen 19, 392 36 Kalmar, Sweden Email: fojoinfo@lnu.se