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(Last updated by Tom Law - Feb 24, 2021)
The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), a not-for-profit, Belgian registered ASBL, is an international network of around 200 journalism support and media development organisations working across more than 70 countries.
Established in 2005 in Amman, Jordan, and based in Brussels, GFMD’s core value is to support the creation and strengthening of journalism and free, independent, sustainable, and pluralistic news ecosystems, as defined by the declarations of UNESCO at conferences in Windhoek, Almaty, Santiago de Chile, Sana’a, and Sofia.
Its main focus is to ensure proper collaboration as well as an exchange of information and experience among its members with a view to creating a strong, independent, and pluralistic media environment, which contributes to the development of empowered societies.
GFMD has a unique, neutral, and trusted position, which allows it to bring together all the major actors in media development, local and regional media assistance groups, and the representatives of nascent media sectors to reach a common understanding of needs and priorities.
As stated in our founding agreement in Amman, we support the creation and strengthening of independent, sustainable journalism and pluralistic media, as defined by the declarations of UNESCO at conferences in Windhoek, Almaty, Santiago de Chile, Sana’a and Sofia.
GFMD’s vision is summarised in a code of practice developed by and for its members as a common ethical framework to which GFMD members commit themselves. Our aims foster:
- Collaboration: We act together to increase strategic coherence and foster collaboration, connection and community among journalism support, free expression, and media assistance organisations, including tech or human rights actors.
- Knowledge, Standards, and Skills Sharing: GFMD is strengthening the capacity and skills of journalism and media support and development groups, and promoting best practices and professional standards of the sector. GFMD leverages expertise that exists within the journalism support and media development sector to provide the most current and practical knowledge and experience to its members and community. Promoting and disseminating research and analysis on the impact of media on social and economic development.
- Advocacy: We address political, social and structural constraints to media freedom and media plurality through peer-led advocacy. We advocate for increased understanding, recognition and importance of journalism support and media development within international corporate, donor, and intergovernmental and philanthropic communities.
- Research: GFMD promotes and disseminates research and analysis related to journalism support and media development, including its impact on the development of societies. We also encourage the evaluation of media development work as a way to identify and advance best practices, methods and technologies.
We define journalism and media assistance in the broadest possible sense. Our members are not limited to professional journalists, media and media development organisations, but also include human right activists, investigative reporters networks, digital developers, and civil society organisations in support of free media and freedom of expression. In the fast-changing media environment, the GFMD constantly evolves, integrating new members and approaches to enhance our work.
GFMD’s organisational strategy is rooted in the following aims:
To provide an international forum for the discussion of ideas, information, and strategies to support and develop the field of journalism and media worldwide.
To facilitate communication between and among our members through the support of the GFMD secretariat.
To create a platform for journalism support and media development practitioners to interact with donors, governments, opinion leaders, and the wider public in order to advocate for media development as a primary pillar for advancing social, economic, and political development.
To promote and disseminate research and analysis on the impact of media development assistance on governance, civic participation, poverty alleviation, access to information, emergent crises, and information markets worldwide.
To promote the establishment of common standards and ethics for media development work that encourages cross-sector cooperation and collaboration.
To advance best practice methods in the media development sector.
Our aims foster sector collaboration; promote knowledge, standards, and skills sharing among journalism, media support and development groups; drive advocacy efforts for increased understanding of journalism support and media development within international communities; and promote and disseminate research related to journalism support and media development.