For eight years, the GMF fellowship program has welcomed a total of over 1,000 people from all around the world. In 2020, the initiative supported by the Federal Foreign Office has to go online because of COVID-19.
Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and out of DW’s responsibility towards its guests, we have decided to hold a digital Global Media Forum in 2020. In the coming months leading up to the next Global Media Forum on June 14 and 15 2021, Deutsche Welle will offer a series of networking opportunities to all friends of the GMF on the digital realm.
In addition to the general digital conference program, we would also like to offer our selected participants from the GMF fellowship program a series of capacity building workshops, lasting up to three hours each. These will be held as online workshops.
The workshops will start on July 15 and will last to the end of the year. Here's an overview of the topics they will cover:
1. Public appearance (presented by experts from DW Akademie) – July 2020
2. Mobile Reporting (presented by experts from DW Akademie) – August, 2020
3. Dealing with media/crisis communication (presented by Experts from DW Akademie) – September, 2020
4. Storytelling (presented by Experts from DW Akademie) – September /October
5. Fundraising (presented by Dr Marita Haibach, Philanthropist and Fundraising Expert) – October, 2020
6. Verify your News (presented by an external journalist and media training expert) – November, 2020
7. Constructive Journalism (presented by DW's Head Digital Programming) – November, 2020
8. Open Situation Room (presented by the German Foreign Office) – December, 2020
Diplomacy through media
Since 2012, the Global Media Forum has been able to organize the annual fellowship program, welcoming up to 150 people from developing and transition countries with the help of a special grant from the Federal Foreign Office.
Based on the country priority list of the Federal Foreign Office, the program addresses media professionals (in particular those active in digital formats, such as bloggers, online activists and influencers) as well as civil society actors, scientists, NGO representatives, (social) entrepreneurs and cultural workers.
Real-life application of lessons learned
Despite the restrictions created by COVID-19, the 2020 GMF fellows are still excited about the program and the capacity building workshops.
"DW is a news source that I always get information from, and follow without any suspicion," says GMF 2020 fellow Zumrud Pashkin from Azerbaijan.
Fellow Zumrud Pashkin looks 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.
"Journalists should find news 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 GMF 2020 fellow, 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 the 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 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."
Representing the values of Germany
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 knowledge about Germany, the fellowship program also raises awareness about Germany's commitment to global solutions to global problems. There are also networking opportunities for the fellows throughout the program, with a firm emphasis placed on international collaboration.
GMF also benefits greatly from these highly motivated and committed young actors who enrich the aspect of international dialogue during the conference with knowledge and expertise from their home countries.
As has been the case in previous years with the physical Global Media Forum held annually at the World Conference Center Bonn, the digital edition of the Global Media Forum 2020 also receives support from the Federal Foreign Office, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Stiftung Internationale Begegnung der Sparkasse in Bonn.