Project news & updates

Press Freedom 2.0: Pluralism and Participation

1 July 2010 | PRESS RELEASE


The Press Freedom Consortium, a new collaboration of five Dutch development organisations that support press freedom worldwide, has finalised and submitted its final programme application this Thursday to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, in the context of the ‘Co-Financing System II’ (MFSII). 

The proposal, entitled Press Freedom 2.0, aims to alleviate structural poverty by enhancing media quality, improving democratic processes and strengthening women, children and minorities by giving them a voice. If the application for financing is granted, an extensive range of projects will be implemented over the next five years in 13 developing countries. This application is the only one of the 21 submitted proposals that focuses directly at the development of freedom of speech and free access to information. 

The Consortium consists of Free Press Unlimited (main applicant), Mensen met een Missie, European Journalism Centre, European Partnership for Democracy, and World Press Photo, who have submitted the proposal for a total of 34 million euro. After the approval of the programme outline by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in December 2009, the Consortium finalised the five-year plan jointly with all parties in the Netherlands and with dozens of partner organisations and Dutch embassies in the 13 target countries. 

Through this combination of knowledge, resources and networks, the new partnership will be able to make a strong impact on the sustainable improvement of press freedom, pluralism and participation of citizens in the media. This combination of forces enables the partners of the Consortium to work within societies from grassroots level to civil society and political level, with the goal to improve access to objective information for everyone. This is seen as an absolute prerequisite for sustainable development of any economy and democracy. 

Examples of Press Freedom 2.0 initiatives are safety training for journalists in violent Mexico, Kids News Radio in Senegal to inform children in the poorest areas, expansion of media literacy curricula in Ghana’s elementary and secondary schools, establishment of an alternative news agency in Zimbabwe, training for women journalists in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bolivia, and professional photo training for local photographers in the Philippines. 

On 1 November 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue its final decision on the application.

MFSII - Press Freedom 2.0
A five-year, international media development initiative, Press Freedom 2.0 aims to support democratic development by empowering civil society, citizens, and local media organisations through the implementation of local media projects. Conducted by a Dutch consortium, the Press Freedom initiative offers a range of trainings and activities specifically tailored to the needs of 11 selected countries.