Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

OPEN Media Hub: the story so far

04/03/2020

A landmark project to support independent media in 17 countries bordering the European Union (EU) has been extended, as journalists tackle increasing threats to media freedoms.

The OPEN Media Hub (OMH), which was established as a four-year programme at the end of 2015, will now run for a further 13 months, until early 2021.

Thomson Media leads a consortium of organisations which offers training, mentoring and networking events, funded by the EU.

By the end of 2019, more than 3,000 participants had benefitted from the OMH, 657 of whom received production support. A total of 1,600 stories were produced and 35 days' worth of content was re-used by broadcasters.

Online training modules had been accessed by 2,643 reporters, and nearly 800 media organisations mentored to help improve content production and sustainability.

Making media matter The programme has tackled the biggest news stories of our times - including migration.

Balanced reporting across all platforms was encouraged by the Migration Media Awards, sponsored by the OMH and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development.

The competition ran for three years, shining a light on a complex and challenging issue - with some of the coverage from refugees.

One of the 2019 winners was Syrian Daham Alasaad (pictured below), with a film One Way Ticket: Forced Repatriation for Denmarks Syrian Refugees?

He captured the emotions of a family of fellow refugees who feared they were going to be sent back to an uncertain fate in Damascus, and then their relief when they were allowed to stay in Denmark.

During the pitching and mentoring process, Daham's work caught the eye of Loick Berrou, a judge from French broadcaster, France 24.

The mentoring improved the quality of entries. With a compelling treatment, good storytelling, filming and editing, we were able to use the Denmark film on our international channel and online, along with some of the other entries, says Loick.

Media with a human face An overriding goal was to encourage stories with a human dimension, of sufficient quality for re-use by media across Asia, the Americas and Europe.

An example was Being 20 - a challenge to journalists to create short-form, innovative films profiling a generation of young people living on the borders of Europe.

A film made by Lakome2, one of Moroccos remaining independent media outlets, told the story of 21-year-old Ikram from Casablanca, who was born without hands.

She explained how overcoming her disability gives meaning to her life. The video was broadcast on Moroccan television, used by France Info TV, translated into Russian by Georgian TOK TV and downloaded for use from the OMHs portal 44 times.

By the end of 2019, 316 Being 20 videos had been made, with 100 more still in production.

-- Play

-- --

Making a difference Of many important investigations carried out by journalists supported by the OPEN Media Hub, one by a group of Syrian investigative journalists stands out for its global impact.

The group, Siraj, revealed how women living in shelters in Damascus were being forced to give sexual favours in return for food. Sex for Aid in the Suburbs was published in the Lebanese online magazine, Deraj, and translated into several languages to reach a bigger audience.

The story was read by aid workers and the womens plight became the subject of a United Nations inquiry into alleged violations of human rights in Syria.

Making media sustainable Creating and maintaining a media business in a digital world is a challenge for even the biggest brands. For independent media without major financial backers, it can be overwhelming.

Nearly 800 have received mentoring, with 229 in 2019. Ukraines Novoye Vremeya produces a weekly magazine, news website and talk radio show. Founded in 2014 by a team of prominent journalists following the Ukrainian revolution, it quickly became a trusted voice.

OMH worked with them to help introduce a paywall to increase revenue and, with the newsroom, encouraged them to switch focus from print to digital. The foundations trainers introduced up-to-date storytelling formats to develop their video strategy, sell new products and increase revenue.

OPEN Media Hub has delivered an extensive opportunity to learn about vital ways of developing and monetising our media. It is probably the most precious contribution that we could expect in the hyperdynamic industry, says Vitaliy Sych, chief editor of Ukrainian weekly magazine, Novoye Vremya.

Shrinking media freedoms Since the OPEN Media Hub began, journalists have found themselves facing greater challenges - from fake news, to alternative facts, to independent news organisations captured by individuals using the media for their own ends.

Journalists in 11 of the 17 countries served by the programme have been imprisoned, media outlets have closed, and restrictive laws on freedom have been adopted, making it a tough environment, says Dominique Thierry, project leader for the OPEN Media Hub.

The power of truth

This is the theme of our 2019 annual review, a testament to our alumni and competition winners who report fearlessly from some of the worlds toughest datelines.

Download it here.

We get around. Explore our project map
LINK: http://www.thomsonfoundation.org/latest/open-media-hub-the-story-so-fa...
See more stories from thompsonfoundation

More from Thomson

13/04/2021

Creating greater transparency and accountability of government

By Henry O. Maina Government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is a...

30/03/2021

Thomson Foundation appoints Caro Kriel as chief executive

Thomson Foundation has appointed Caro Kriel - a veteran journalist with more than 20 years' experience in international news - as its new chief executive. ...

29/03/2021

Greatest reward: Helping to progress the careers of countless journalists

Thomson Foundation is unique: the place where the cut and thrust of the news industry meets the more strategic international media development sector. Every ye...

08/03/2021

Giving Sudanese a voice in rebuilding their economy

Rebuilding Sudan's shattered economy after the 2019 uprising requires the country's journalists to understand and explain the key economic issues to the...

07/03/2021

Giving Sudanese a voice in rebuilding their economy.

Rebuilding Sudan's shattered economy after the 2019 uprising requires the country's journalists to understand and explain the key economic issues to the...

05/03/2021

Raised voices: Giving women a voice in local media

A unique research project in a remote district of north-west Pakistan has helped to empower women and give them a voice in local media. Thomson was approached...

02/03/2021

Remote control: Covid-19 and the smartphone

Ask Spanish television reporter Leonor Su rez what role mobile journalism played during the first wave of the pandemic and she barely pauses for thought. Moj...

02/03/2021

Staying Safe: Introducing a journalist s guide to covering protests

Nata a Kova ev is a reporter with the Balkans based 24 hour news channel N1. She is the instructor for our online learning course, Staying safe: Covering protes...

15/01/2021

Hidden from view: Reporting on human trafficking and modern slavery

Every journalist wants to go on a rescue mission. But hidden from view, the human trafficking story is one of the most challenging, complex and ethically testin...

23/12/2020

Challenges of becoming a journalist in a restrictive society

Maryam Anam is an aspiring young radio journalist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a region in north-west Pakistan where women's voices are rarely heard. She is being...

12/12/2020

Local news: rebuilding trust and relevance in the pandemic

As the old newsroom clich has it, all news is local. And despite being a global pandemic, the Covid-19 crisis has been felt first in our families, on our doors...

11/12/2020

Hard truths in Peru: Journalism without fear or favour

World Voices: Mart n Leandro Camacho, Peru Secuestraron mi pais. Emblazoned on a protest placard and photographed by Peruvian journalist, Mart n Leandro C...

04/12/2020

My fellowship in a year of Covid-19

A fellowship with Thomson Media didnt go quite as Hend Kheiralla expected in the pandemic. At home in Sudan, I was used to working remotely for digital enterpr...

01/12/2020

Why messaging apps put us in the right place at the right time

You're in a queue. How likely is it that you'll check your messages on your mobile phone? Even the least digital amongst us is spending 30 minutes a day...

24/11/2020

Martin Leandro Camacho: The compassionate face of Peru

PROFILE: Young Journalist Award 2020 winner Mart n Leandro Camacho has always been passionate about being compassionate. The 27-year-old spent the formative...

19/11/2020

Grounded by coronavirus: The challenges of virtual practical training

Grounded by Covid-19, our trainers have been learning new skills to be able to impart their expertise to their journalist trainees with promising results. Th...

18/11/2020

Messaging Apps: Tackling training in the pandemic

Covid-19 may have forced our workshops online but by innovation and experimentation our trainers have continued to teach and mentor often on less conventional p...

14/11/2020

When e-workshops are exciting - a blog by Khalida Niaz

Khalida Niaz is a journalist with the Tribal News Network based in Peshawar, Pakistan. She was amongst a group of editors and managers taking part in a course r...

10/11/2020

Change at the top for the foundation

Thomson Foundation has announced that Nigel Baker, chief executive since 2012, will retire from the role in July 2021. Nigel has led a significant growth in ac...

07/11/2020

Solutions to create trustworthy journalism in a crowded digital world

As journalists today, we are operating in a toxic digital environment where it can often be difficult to distinguish a fact from a lie. The media environment,...

27/10/2020

Championing burgeoning talent in a year we will never forget

Announcing the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award finalists #TFYoungJournalist If we don't come, hunger kills us, says a Venezuelan merchant as h...

29/09/2020

The backbone of professional and independent journalism

The media situation in the Western Balkans is deteriorating as a result of repeated attacks on media freedom and systematic undermining of the profession. The c...

28/09/2020

Breaking news: Award shortlist reminds us why journalism matters

On World News Day, we reveal the 12 shortlisted entrants for the #TFYoungJournalist Award, highlighting just why #JournalismMatters. From Brazil's record y...

17/09/2020

Tackling underrepresentation of women in media

Trying something new can be a daunting experience, especially when nobody has done it before. The residents of Mardan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) prov...

15/09/2020

Through the lens: Chronicling daily life and the challenges of Covid-19 in Syria

In his beloved city of Damascus, Syrian photojournalist, Hasan Belal, captures daily domestic scenes, confronts the challenges wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic ...

11/09/2020

Bettina Peters (1963-2020)

There has seldom been a greater force of nature than Bettina Peters in the world of international media development. A steely mind and no-nonsense cheerfulness...

11/09/2020

Empowering women in Pakistan's rural communities

Progress in bringing womens voices into media has been slow and has been further reduced by local traditional structures that often favour men. Pakistani enumer...

04/09/2020

Patsy Robertson: a tribute

The passing of Patsy Robertson at 86 has deprived the Thomson Foundation of a loyal supporter and devoted advocate in the Commonwealth. Patsy resigned as a lon...

26/08/2020

Photojournalists: The key to getting published and staying safe

Thomson Foundation trainer and award winning photojournalist Glenn Edwards shares his experience of covering events for national and international publications ...

19/08/2020

Uncovering stories with a human dimension

Can journalism build a better world? Thomson Foundation has the privilege of training and working with journalists around the globe who are at the forefront of ...

14/08/2020

Taking shots: preserving the pivotal moments of protests

Photojournalists remain crucial to our understanding of world events, providing us with front-row views that would otherwise be inaccessible. Of the most univer...

14/07/2020

Competition: Young Journalist Award 2020 is open

One thing has been constant; since its inception in 2013, our Young Journalist Award has been cheering new arrivals in the media industry, introducing some of t...

09/07/2020

Capturing change: strategies for safely covering protests

A massive wave of solidarity protests against racial injustice have been staged across the United States and worldwide following a series of killings in the US,...

08/07/2020

Covid-19 training in Sudan gets smart on WhatsApp

An innovative online learning course to support the reporting of Covid-19 in Sudan has reached nearly 2000 people across all sectors of media. The course, desi...

23/06/2020

Photojournalism: the ethical challenges to covering Covid-19

This article by Savannah Dodd, founder of the Photography Ethics Centre, uses the key principles introduced in her Journalism Now e-learning course The Photogra...

11/06/2020

Talent pool gives advice on navigating the pandemic

Weve pooled advice from our international alumni to help journalists navigate their way through the Covid-19 pandemic. From what went wrong in the medias early...

05/06/2020

Rwandan journalist s study route to international publication.

Rwandan journalist Christophe Hitayezu first met the editorial team from The Guardian newspaper in London as part of a study tour in a programme to support medi...

01/06/2020

Sudan: Support for journalists in the global fight against Covid-19

A unique training course tailored specifically for Sudanese journalists has been devised to help them navigate the challenges of reporting the Covid-19 pandemic...

21/05/2020

MoJo Challenge: When a smartphone wins in Covid-19 coverage

Lebanese-based Nisrine Ajab has won the Thomson Foundation mobile journalism challenge and five others have been commended. Nisrine, who is from Beirut, along...

07/05/2020

A class of its own: is the e-Workshop here to stay?

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a temporary halt to face-to-face training programmes during lockdown - but prompted experiments with different types of vir...

05/05/2020

Supporting Greater Media Independence in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans region remains beset by political instability, corruption and a chronic lack of transparency. The national media are often captured by veste...

23/04/2020

A coronavirus photo essay from Bologna, Italy

Award-winning documentary photographer and Thomson Foundation alumnus Marco Panzetti, achieved international recognition for his coverage of the global refugee ...

07/04/2020

The challenges of covering coronavirus: how we can help

Journalists across the globe face unprecedented challenges to report the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak accurately and safely. The fast-moving story is presen...

17/03/2020

Thomson Foundation's summer course - the alumni shaping media

Hundreds of frontline journalists have passed through the Thomson Foundation's prestigious summer course which aims to sharpen reporting skills and teach th...

17/03/2020

Thomson Foundation summer course 2020: dates and details

Thomson Foundation has announced the dates for its mobile multimedia journalism programme 2020. August 10 to September 11, 2020 In this intensive five-week ...

09/03/2020

Our Tech Challenge Winner: A Royal Visit And Much More

Patrick Obumselu, the winner of Thomson Foundations 2019 Commonwealth Digital Challenge, has been in London meeting mentors and receiving advice on progressing ...

06/03/2020

Highlighting violence against South African women

At just 26, Robin-Lee Francke is no stranger to violence against women, having been pistol-whipped, beaten and shot at in the course of her work as a crime repo...

04/03/2020

Working against the odds in Syria

When Waad Al Kateab began filming in an Aleppo hospital being destroyed by government forces, little could she imagine that her work would one day be nominated ...

04/03/2020

Reporting from the heart of Iraq s deadly protests

Pesha Magid became the trusted voice from Baghdad for many of the world's broadcasters and newspapers after an outbreak of anti-government protests in 2019....

04/03/2020

OPEN Media Hub: the story so far

A landmark project to support independent media in 17 countries bordering the European Union (EU) has been extended, as journalists tackle increasing threats to...