At the start of the New Year DW-AKADEMIE’s Managing Director, Gerda Meuer, takes sobering stock of press freedoms worldwide. For DW-AKADEMIE, media development remains the focus for 2011.
Gerda Meuer, DW-AKADEMIE Managing Director
By Gerda Meuer
Wherever we look in the world, we find little encouragement when it comes to freedom of the press. In many Latin American, African and Middle Eastern countries the freedoms of press and expression were further curbed in 2010. Even in Europe, these fundamental rights have often experienced limits – in Italy, for example, or more recently, in Hungary.
There are, however, positive developments. In Bhutan, the country’s king supports transforming the state broadcaster to a public one. And in Sierra Leone, a country once torn by civil war, a station being built with international help will broadcast programs to all ethnic groups. Last year, DW-AKADEMIE was in more demand than ever in countries such as Bhutan and Sierra Leone. Whether the need was for consultants, trainers or project managers, our staff professionalized journalists, coached media workers and contributed to the reorganization of legal frameworks.
In 2011 we will take that further. We will be working with our international partners on long-term projects, jointly aiming to empower the local media – and always aware that media play an important role in establishing democracy and good governance; that media give a voice to the voiceless and help maintain cultural identity; and that media enable people to actively participate in the societies in which they live.
DW-AKADEMIE is one of the largest media development institutes in Europe. With our exemplary infrastructure under the umbrella of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, we have more than 200 trainers working for us on international projects. In 2011 they will continue to excel, be it with projects in partner countries or with practical and academic training of next-generation journalists and media managers in Germany.
To respond even better and more efficiently to the many challenges, we have made some personnel changes.
Dr. Helmut Osang
Dr. Helmut Osang now heads the new Media Development section.
Ellen Schuster heads the new Public Affairs section.
Carsten von Nahmen
Carsten von Nahmen now heads the Africa Divison.
Mathis Winkler heads the Europe and Central Asia Division.
Tilman Rascher now heads DW-AKADEMIE Berlin in addition to the Middle East Division.
Dr. Andrea Rübenacker
Dr. Andrea Rübenacker now heads the Asia Division.