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media development

Good bye, Femi, we miss you

Femi Adi Soempeno

Femi Adi Soempeno

Our friend and former participant Femi Adi Soempeno was among the passengers of the Russian Sukhoi jet that crashed near the Indonesian capital on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Femi’s family and those who loved her.

For all of us here at DW Akademie, it was a joy and a privilege to have known Femi. We loved working with her during our 2009 workshop “Online Journalism and Web 2.0”.

During this three-week training course, Femi became friends with Akademie staff and trainers and with the other participants; journalists from Cambodia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Nepal and the Philippines.




Myanmar: Heading towards freer media

DW Akademie TV workshop in Yangon, 2012After decades of censorship, Myanmar is aiming to democratize its media system. In cooperation with UNESCO, the government recently arranged an international media conference. DW Akademie was there.

“I would like to see you all again – in a country with a free and democratic media,” said Ye Htut, Director General of Myanmar’s Ministry of Information, as he said goodbye to the 250 participants attending the media conference in Rangoon.

Until recently, a statement like that would have been unthinkable. “I’m experiencing Myanmar as very open in an impressive way. The atmosphere in this remarkable conference is honest and very sincere,” reports Helmut Osang, DW Akademie’s coordinator for media development.




Lights, camera, action for Asian film festival organizers in Berlin

The last several weeks have been action-packed for the participants of the film festival and event management workshop taking place in Berlin. For the 9th year in a row, DW Akademie has conducted this special training event in cooperation with the annual Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale. The workshop is for managers and organizers of film festivals in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Every year it’s a red-carpet intensive to discuss festival planning and marketing strategies, boost the genre of local film-making in developing regions and network in the name of cinematic impact. “The workshop is a great gathering of 12 different cultures from three different continents,” says project manager Pamela Schobess. “It’s all about networking and we’ve had an amazing start, making contacts between festivals all over the world.”




Creating confidence in the classroom

Active acquisition of knowledge to solve concrete challenges creates confidence. And that’s something you need when you have to teach journalism to a classroom full of young Laotian twentysomethings, as do the instructors at the National University of Laos (NUOL).

These instructors are currently students themselves: they’re taking part in journalism teachers’ training and coaching, which is organized in partnership with DW-AKADEMIE’s Asia team.

At a workshop in December we reviewed some of the progress made so far. “I have more confidence in teaching these subjects now,” said one of the younger colleagues. Others agreed.

One senior lecturer brought along a revamped version of a project the training participants had created the previous September – a newspaper made from scratch. It was a showcase item at NUOL’s 15th anniversary celebration in November.

The instructors-in-training had put tremendous effort into producing it, and that has really paid off in their daily work. Here’s why:




Turning attention to women’s rights in South Asia

Spotlighting women’s issues in South Asia is the focus of a recently introduced multimedia project at Deutsche Welle. Three young female journalists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India were sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation to help launch the undertaking in Bonn.

Their online dossiers feature reports in Hindi, Urdu, Dari and English on topics such as maternal mortality and healthcare, women’s rights and the role of women in business and society.

“Good journalism promotes positive changes in society,” says Ayesha Hasan of Pakistan, one of the visiting journalists who participated in the kick-off of the Women’s World project in late 2011. Reflecting on the role of free media, Hasan says they “can bring about peace within Pakistan as well as with its neighbors.”