In Bolivia, DW Akademie focuses on civic participation and qualification with, for example, a unique dual training program for young journalists.
Rosa Jalja is the director of Radio Copacabana in Bolivia. She broadcasts in Aymara, making information accessible to those who cannot read or write.
Bolivia's media sector is highly polarized and tends to be divided into two political camps: media that are loyal to the government and those critical of it. There is very little independent, fair and balanced reporting on which the population can form opinions, especially ahead of elections.
DW Akademie in Bolivia focuses on boosting civic participation in social development processes, particularly for disenfranchised groups living on city fringes. It is essential to enable citizens to express their opinions and actively participate in public debates.
Together with the UNIR Foundation Bolivia and the support of the radio network Aymara ("Aymara" in the local language means "Dialogue"), DW Akademie promotes social dialogues in the city of El Alto.
The radio stations organize a series of public dialogues that focus on topics seen as relevant to traditionally disadvantaged groups such as women or young people. Journalists in the Aruskipawi network play a crucial role as mediators in a polarized society, and here promote objective discussions around the topics selected. Every public dialogue is prepared by a different network station, and that also moderates, broadcasts and uploads the dialogue onto social media.
DW Akademie is also committed to creating sustainable structures for vocational media training in Bolivia. With the ProPeriodismo program, DW Akademie together with the German development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and local partners established between 2013 and 2018 international standards for the training of journalists.
As part of the project, a dual journalism training program that focuses on cross-media was developed together with the journalism foundation, Fundación para el Periodismo. The program – the first of its kind in Latin America – offers aspiring journalists professional opportunities to prepare for their careers. Many of the graduates today hold leading positions in the media or work as trainers for future aspiring journalists.
DW Akademie also supported as part of the ProPeriodismo project a local partner in Cochabamba – Centro de Producción Radiofoníca (Centre for Radio Production, CEPRA) – in creating the innovative virtual teaching program, VirDual. Through online courses, local journalists can acquire new radio skills.
In addition, and since 2019, DW Akademie has been supporting the local partners FPP and CEPRA in designing collaborative innovation labs ("Co-Laboratories"). It brings together media representatives and members of the public to discuss aspects that journalists need to consider in order to better reach their target groups.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country Coordinator: Vera Freitag
Locations: La Paz, Cochabamba, El Alto
Focus: Civic participation, media literacy, participation of disadvantaged groups, dual journalism training program, professionalism and media viability, qualification