The important role of journalists in societies especially in developing and transition countries are strengthened by an empowered and confident journalism sector. For without journalism, information are not channelled, misunderstanding explodes in communities, wars ensue, social menace may not be eradicated, informed choice will become unavailable and in extreme cases where communities are...
The important role of journalists in societies especially in developing and transition countries are strengthened by an empowered and confident journalism sector. For without journalism, information are not channelled, misunderstanding explodes in communities, wars ensue, social menace may not be eradicated, informed choice will become unavailable and in extreme cases where communities are affected by strife and conflict – delivery of help may be stalled.
The International Institute for Journalism is instrumental in improving the quality of journalism practice in Asia, Africa and some countries in Europe. It has trained more than five thousand journalists building an alumni network so unique, it can’t be transferred to another institution. Many of its alumni who are junior reporters during their IIJ training are now senior officers of their media institutions. Aside from training journalists, the IIJ has empowered partner organizations and facilitated international exchange between media houses bridging south-south cooperation among partners.
The IIJ has significantly exposed journalists from developing and transitional countries to German media technologies and even German political and social processes successfully influencing a certain degree of quality to journalistic standards of the alumni and his media outfits thus and thereby improving the profession for the better – making the IIJ programme a milestone achievement in the area of international cooperation and media development.
Furthermore, the IIJ has allowed journalists to gain not only better reporting skills but also an appreciation of Germany and its people. And since their reporting shape how their country’s men and women see the world, the IIJ has done more for Germanys image abroad than many other endeavour.
Closing the IIJ means depriving journalists and media houses of the target regions the rare and unique opportunity of a specialized capacity building program only the IIJ can offer. It is also tantamount to depriving societies of better journalism specifically in developing countries worldwide.
IIJ’s alumni over the years can testify and affirm their respective development leaps and achievements after training with the IIJ. It is very important to us and our media communities from our respective countries to maintain IIJ and that instead of closing it, the BMZ may consider thinking about further expanding its programs to serve more journalists in the target regions.
We believe that the IIJ is an asset and a key pillar in the media development work of the Federal Government of Germany and in particular of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The impact it has contributed to international development work ranges from different aspects of media practice such as media management, conflict-sensitive reporting and even quality reporting of inter-country cooperation – through the Reporting ASEAN programme – and further the public through programs such environmental reporting, political reporting and online journalism.
Strengthening the IIJ means further empowering journalists and their crucial role in democracies and social processes, closing it means to cut the thread carefully woven during many years of dedicated work.
Our humble plea, Mr. Hans-Juergen Beerfeltz is please save the IIJ.
We hope with this petition, you may reconsider your decision.