Fojo Media Institute engages at global, regional, national, local and hyperlocal level.
Fojo is increasingly taking on a regional approach in our programs. Presently we are running one regional program in Southeast Asia, engaging four countries in the region. Jointly with our Danish partner organization IMS, we are conducting a study in 19 Asian countries with the intention of expanding the present program to cover all Asia. We are also running a regional program in eight countries in Eastern and Central Europe.
There are several reasons to think regionally rather than just nationally.
Primarily, audiences often no longer define themselves as belonging to a certain nation, but rather by belonging to a specific interest group – heavy metal, religious fundamentalists, fashion, environmentalists, gender activists, gaming geeks. Traditional media have not been able to follow these changes, as they typically are nationally based with the aim of providing general news about general things. There are many new media platforms, often labelled as public interest journalism initiatives. They are typically issue driven and based on specific interest groups. Thus, their scope can be hyperlocal, but still what they do is of regional interest – be that peace, gender, environment or anti-corruption.
Secondly, as journalism to an increasing extent is carried out online, it is easier to connect different actors in different countries who share the same challenges and possibilities. This is the basis for both our European and our Southeast Asia programmes, where partners engage in peer-to-peer networks, jointly developing new approaches, formats and finding new audiences, while at the same time jointly advocating the need for free, independent and professional journalism as an indispensable feature of a democratic society.