Global Voices - Training Strategy | Institute for War and Peace Reporting
IWPR's in-depth strategy focuses on training and building a strong network of local journalists. To achieve this, IWPR trainers are selected with local cultural attitudes in mind, and IWPR training materials are all tailored to meet the specific needs in each national or regional media space.
IWPR's Overall Direction
We work with both novice and experienced and local journalists, targeting our efforts in two main ways:
- Direct training of local journalists: IWPR's international and local trainers provide direct training to journalists of all skills levels;
- Building local capacity for journalism training: IWPR improves local training capacity by teaching leading local editors and university lecturers how to improve the effectiveness of their training locally, ie "training the trainers."
The former addresses the immediate public needs of post-conflict and transition societies, while the latter aims to create long-term sustainable programmes.
IWPR training works with a toolbox of practical methods for journalism skills development to tackle weaknesses within each media space.
- Editorial-based hands-on training: This involves intensive and continuous communications, written evaluation and feedback between editor-trainer and journalist. The process results in articles which appear on IWPR's websites and are republished extensively in local print and online media;
- Classroom training for professional journalists: More formal sessions include local monthly workshops to discuss specific issues and questions arising in the course of IWPR work and regional seminars to review basics of reporting and writing for an international audience, special skills (eg online research, interview techniques) and other key issues. All sessions are based on various training modules, adapted to local conditions based on the needs and interests of different regions and individual journalists;
- Training university-level journalism students: IWPR also focuses on the next generation of journalists by working closely with universities to provide an IWPR-led training component to their curricula. In some countries IWPR training is completely integrated into the university degree programme; in other countries IWPR provides occasional lecturers and hands-on projects for local universities;
- Supporting in-house training at individual media outlets: IWPR works with individual media outlets to help them formulate a training strategy best suited to the needs of the staff of that outlet and the journalism culture in which they work. This includes classroom work led by IWPR's own trainers, other internationally recognised trainers and local editors trained to work as IWPR trainers;
- Training the trainers: IWPR works with senior local editors, leading journalists and university lecturers to improve their training skills, helping them both with the creation of teaching material and exercises, as well as guidelines for presentation of that material. We have developed extensive guidelines for local trainers in this regard. The goal is to build local capacity for sustainable media education, developing a network of trainers to ensure a continuation of the education. IWPR holds occasional large-scale regional workshops with direct inputs from London staff, and the lessons from those regional meetings are than cascaded through the regions by local trainers;
- IWPR graduate schemes: IWPR establishes and maintains extensive certificate based training schemes. A "throughput" system is developed, creating a comprehensive, three-month training programme, resulting in certificates of completion for successful trainees. Certificate programmes exist for primary and advanced levels. This provides a recognisable local standard of professional excellence for local media outlets.
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