Strengthening African Media

A three-year media freedom programme in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to ensure African audiences can access a range of accurate, independent information from quality, professional media.

by Andrew Heslop | May 7, 2021

African newsrooms are struggling with the financial implications of the global health crisis, with significant falls in advertising and audience revenue compounding an already extremely stretched market that has led to catastrophic losses and threatens the very survival of independent media in many countries.

Underlying all of this is a need for greater safety and increased protection for media professionals. Training of individuals and added capacity within media organisations is necessary to contribute to engendering – and prioritising – a culture of safety.

The Strengthening African Media programme focuses on supporting newsrooms in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe across four critical areas:

This new media support programme will complement WAN-IFRA’s existing Media Freedom Committee advocacy networks and the Women In News programme.


A Media-driven Approach

Activities supporting newsrooms and media professionals include:

Physical, Digital Safety & Mental Wellbeing

  • Safety needs assessments
  • Physical and digital safety trainings for journalists
  • Newsroom safety management for newsroom managers (training and mentoring)
  • In-house safety officers
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Advocacy & Networking

  • Local advocacy actions lead by country MFCs
  • Skills building workshops 
  • National, regional and global networking with peers
  • Knowledge and best practice sharing
  • Peer-to-peer exchanges between media in non-competing markets

Business Development & Media Sustainability

  • Business operations and digital skills workshops 
  • e-Learning opportunities
  • Media sustainability coaching and mentoring (revenue generation, business models, audience engagement, etc.)

Editorial Capacity & Social Impact

  • Capacity building addressing editorial challenges (verification, ethics, the mis/disinformation ecosystem, innovation, etc.) 
  • Micro-grants to produce engaging content on key themes: the ongoing health crisis, impact of climate change, human rights, civic space, civil society, diversity, underrepresented communities, etc.


Latest programme info:


African Media Grants launched

Apply for a $10,000 USD grant to assist your newsroom in covering climate change and environmental reporting

Deadline to apply: 24th October 2021.

The Backstory – A Media Freedom Podcast

Join us for season 4 of The Backstory as we explore the challenges facing media across Africa.

S4E1: Press freedom in Africa, 30 years after Windhoek

It’s been 30 years since the Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press was born on May 3, 1991 in Namibia, to support independent media in Africa. The declaration was not only a proud moment for African journalism but inspired the United Nations to launch World Press Freedom Day two years later.


Certified Journalist Safety Training Course (Online Version)
A self-paced certified safety training course for journalists to be completed online over a three-week period.

In the news…

Malawi Media Freedom Committee Formed
On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, WAN-IFRA is delighted to welcome the Malawi Media Freedom Committee into its regional and global network of media professionals.

WAN-IFRA Announces New Media Freedom Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa
WAN-IFRA announces a new DKK 6.5M ($1M) partnership with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support media freedom in nine countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.


The Strengthening African Media programme is funded by a generous grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

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