Denmark has approved 20 million DKK funding to strengthen free and independent media in developing countries and weak states.
Free and independent media are pivotal for democratic development. This holds true in Denmark as well as abroad, but the issue is particularly important in developing countries and weak states where press freedoms and freedom of expression are sometimes threatened.
In order to address the issue, the Danish government has approved 20 million DKK to strengthen free public discourse in developing countries and weak states. The approved funds are earmarked for free media capacity building, with a particular focus on ensuring the safety of journalists in such countries.
“It’s very worrisome that the freedom of the press is being challenged in so many places around the world. A free and critical press is crucial in keeping the public informed on their leaders’ decisions and in ensuring accountability. In the context of development, a free press is a necessary precondition for furthering democracy and good governance”, says Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Mogens Jensen.
The allocation of funding was announced in the context of the Global Media Freedom Conference, which brought together more than 100 editors and journalists from around the world. Mogens Jensen hosted the conferenced, which was organized by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
The allocated funding will support initiatives through cooperation with international press and publishing organisations such as WAN-IFRA as well as international journalists’ organisations and the media support organisation International Media Support (IMS).
WAN-IFRA plans to support in excess of 60 media outlets in twelve different countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The proposed projects will include a number of workshops focusing on digital media development, professional training of women and better protection of media under the law.
In cooperation with different international media associations such as the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), IMS will work towards creating a global forum for development and best practice exchange on the subject of journalists’ safety.