The Global Media Forum fellowship program has welcomed a total of over 1,000 people from all around the world since 2012. In 2020, the initiative had to go online because of COVID-19. This year, it continues digitally.
The Global Media Forum was held as a hybrid event this year, which was live-streamed from the Deutsche Welle headquarters in Bonn, Germany, lending opportunities for people from around the world to connect despite the many challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The fellowship program in 2021 took place as a two day conference via online streaming for all DW fellows. These two days included best practice examples, lively discussions and capacity building workshops on the following topics:
The sessions were presented by DW Akademie, Nima Abu Wardeh, NAS Academy and TikTok.
Additionally, following the DW Global Media Forum in June, we also host one networking event per month from August to December 2021 – for both current year fellows and our alumni. This allows fellows from around the world to get to know each other, learn more about DW and become better acquainted with Germany.
All these fellowship events are held in the digital realm. However, of course, we hope that one day we will be able to meet and greet all our fellows in person in Bonn again. And whether online or in person: Be prepared to be stimulated, challenged and entertained at events that are truly Made for Minds!
Since 2012, the Global Media Forum has been able to organize the annual fellowship program, welcoming up to 200 people each year from developing and transition countries with the help of a special grant from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
Based on the country priority list of the Federal Foreign Office, the program addresses media professionals as well as civil society actors, scientists, NGO representatives, social entrepreneurs and cultural workers and is also aimed at attracting innovators and multipliers from the media.
In the spirit of successful public diplomacy, the program serves as a means to communicate the values and social attitudes of Germany. In addition to promoting the country, the fellowship program also raises awareness about Germany's commitment to finding global solutions to global problems.
The DW Global Media Forum also benefits greatly from these highly motivated and committed young actors who enrich the aspect of international dialogue with knowledge and expertise from their home countries. We regard the fellowship program as a unique opportunity to exchange ideas between countries, nationalities and generations.
Due to global restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and also out of DW’s responsibility towards its guests, we held the Global Media Forum 2020 as a yearlong digital conversation on journalism, offering various digital sessions, talk formats and more to create online exchanges to last throughout the year.
Our selected participants from the DW Global Media Forum fellowship program joined a series of different workshops and discussions on such topics as public appearance, mobile reporting or news verification tools.
Despite the restrictions created by COVID-19, the 2020 fellows showed great enthusiasm about the program and its workshops.
Fellow Zumrud Pashkin looked forward to learning more about how to overcome government restrictions on press freedom
"The online workshops that DW offers cover very important topics. The global press faces challenges, especially in countries where the government uses restrictions against journalists," said 2020 fellow Zumrud Pashkin from Azerbaijan. "Journalists should find new ways and methods to share information. So, from this perspective I think these online workshops will help us to improve our methods both in terms of quality, and also to address how to deal with such restrictions."
Another fellow from the same year, Abdalle Ahmad Mumin, also shared his enthusiasm for the program, saying it could particularly help him during the corona crisis: "COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on journalists and the media in Somalia. My organization has very limited resources, and launching our own fundraising initiatives is therefore a key way of supporting journalists and advocating freedom of expression in Somalia," he told DW.
"I believe that attending the DW Global Media Forum 2020 capacity building workshops will help me to gain the desired knowledge on fundraising, which will be of benefit for the members of Somali Journalists Syndicate. Furthermore, the Global Media Forum is a great place for networking with media professionals and influencers from across the world."
As it has been the case in previous years with the physical Global Media Forum, which was held annually at the World Conference Center Bonn, and the 2020 yearlong online version, the digital edition of the Global Media Forum 2021 also receives support from the Federal Foreign Office, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the media, the City of Bonn and the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn.