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Disinformation and state censorship are as dangerous as the virus itself, but strong local independent media are a key to overcoming the crisis.
Media worldwide have been under pressure, particularly during the ongoing corona pandemic. In response, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and DW Akademie have launched the initiative "Transparency and media freedom – Crisis resilience in the global pandemic". The goal is to strengthen the resilience of local media so that people are able to make informed decisions.
Given the current pandemic, the BMZ has increased its annual budget for media development by 10 million euros.
Much of the additional funding is going towards 16 DW Akademie projects that concentrate on independent media and media organizations worldwide. One focus is on supporting independent local and community media outlets in developing innovative news formats and business strategies. The economic crisis has impacted news desks, and state censorship as well as misinformation and disinformation have in many places made the work of journalists even harder.
In response, DW Akademie is supporting partner organizations in developing digital news platforms for local media in Africa and Latin America, and in developing fact-checking networks in Asia.
Another focus is on helping young people to critically use social media. Together with partners in the Middle East and Latin America, DW Akademie is developing curricula for teaching Media and Information Literacy (MIL). The MIL content will be distributed via messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
Information and communication networks will also improve structures for crisis communication and the distribution of coronavirus information. For the first time, state actors together with civil society and media actors will be conducting crisis management.
DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle's center for international media development, journalism training and knowledge transfer. Our projects strengthen the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information. DW Akademie empowers people worldwide to make independent decisions based on reliable facts and constructive dialogue.
DW Akademie is a strategic partner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
PYALARA,Individualland, Kenya Correspondents Association, MISA Zambia, The Communication with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, Radialistas Apasionadas y Apasionados, Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association, Stopfals Moldau