Article 19 is at the core of DW Akademie's work. Together with our partners in some 50 countries around the world, DW Akademie is strengthening independent media, supporting journalists, and training citizens to become critical media users so that they can exercise this fundamental human right.
Carsten von Nahmen: Head, DW Akademie:
"Without free and independent media, without free expression or access to independent information, those in power and those with influence cannot be held to account. Free or democratic societies cannot exist without the rule of law. In my travels to countries with restricted freedom of expression, I have learned that where free media do not exist it is only those who have money and power who benefit, and it is the vast majority who suffers.
In fact, six out of seven people in the world live in societies where they cannot fully express their opinions. But we at Deutsche Welle are convinced that this can be changed. And it is why we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, and especially Article 19: the right of all individuals to freely express themselves."
Examples of our work
A Facebook-related project teaches women how to access information and use social media for participating in society. At workshops, trainers from DW Akademie train young women on methods for teaching other young women how to use Facebook. They learn how to recognize disinformation and how to responsibly spread contents on the Internet.
DW Akademie's Libya-focused project "Stability through Reconciliation" promotes access to information. With free and independent reporting, media are to take on a peace-building role in the conflict region. The goal is to help create a well-functioning media sector that provides citizens with reliable information and responds to the needs of social and ethnic minorities.
People rarely make the news in the southern district of the Colombian city Baraquilla, but when they do, the media's focus is almost entirely on crime, violence or drugs. The community radio station Vokaribe is aiming to change this. In a radio program that's produced with a mobile studio parked on the street, members of local initiatives, teachers or young people have their say, voicing topics that move them and others living in the neighborhood.
With a digital online course, DW Akademie is supporting journalists and activists in the Arab world. The webinar, held in Arabic, offers methods and tools, and a forum where experts give tips on issues including digital security, hate speech and conflict-sensitive reporting. The webinar offers journalists and activists who, given political or technical reasons, have little access to this type of information, to additional training on digital issues, or to opportunities for professional networking.
How can we reach young people with traditional media formats? This is not just a question for media outlets in Germany. Many Serbian outlets are also losing their young target audience. This is why DW Akademie is supporting local projects, including the platform Youthvibes where young people report on topics that interest their peers. The Montenegro public broadcaster RTCG for its part is training youth to become vloggers, with an aim to develop their media literacy and become more involved in the process.
These and other projects were presented at the Brave New Media conference in October.