Internews Network

Our mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.
Aug 14, 2014

Week One Report: Info Saves Lives, West Africa

Thank you for your support of our mission and our project in West Africa – where, with your donations, we are working to ensure that accurate, timely, reliable and contextualized local information about the nature, spread and treatment of the Ebola Disease Virus is provided and shared with the affected population by health workers and media.

If you donated today, your donation has been matched 100% by the Paul G Allen Family Foundation, doubling your impact and putting us that much closer to our fundraising goal. Thank you for your support!

It has been an extremely busy week since we launched our project on GlobalGiving. In Guinea, where Internews has been working since the early days of the outbreak, we have dramatically increased the amount of Ebola-related content on radios in the capital, in the South East and cross-border into Liberia. Our team in Guinea travelled to Monrovia, Liberia for a quick assessment of the environment, and a team member in Sierra Leona conducted a rapid assessment in-country last week.

We’d like to share some of the initial findings from the assessments we conducted, which will inform our response in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia moving forward.


  • As part of a humanitarian information project in Guinea, Internews has been working since the early days of the Ebola outbreak in the country to provide information about the disease itself, how to prevent it spreading, and how to treat it.
  • Experienced humanitarian journalism trainers have been deployed in Guinée Forestière (where the outbreak started), Conakry, and other cities to train media workers in the most effective ways of explaining the disease to local communities and engaging them in the fight against its spread
  • Overall, the Ebola response is working in the country, but more resources and support are needed in Guinée Forestière, which is the center of the outbreak. Coordinating with the different government, medical and other humanitarian responders needs to happen in Conakry.


Sierra Leone:

  • Reports from the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), tasked to work with Ebola Response Committee’s Social Mobilization Sub-Committee responsible for all national messaging related to the disease, confirm that the media is acutely under-resourced to effectively respond to the crisis, and that the process is currently stalled.
  • There are indications that messages from International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in English are trusted more, simply because they are in English and come from INGOs, while messages from the government are generally mistrusted.
  • Compounding communication challenges is the difficulty of transposing accurate but not panicky information in local languages, which have no word for “infection.”
  • Messages in local languages have to be oversimplified, which then in turn requires interpretation
  • From a technology perspective, lack of communications connectivity is problematic, however, mobile phone technology and the use of SMS is considered the most reliable means of sharing information quickly.
  • There is a real need for better communication on the risk of death associated with the disease to dispel earlier communications that stressed that there is “no cure ... if you get Ebola, you will die.” In reality, death rates are lower if people seek and are given appropriate supportive treatment. The overall result is poor messaging that is inconsistent, at times inaccurate, and ill-adapted linguistically to the needs of their audiences.
  • While in some core-affected areas such as Kailahun near the Guinea border, as well as Kenama, journalists have received some training from non-governmental organizations, it has focused solely on medical information, without addressing the need for the media to accurately report on the outbreak from an evidence-based perspective.



  • Internews’ assessment has identified a critical need for humanitarian liaison to ensure that key messages are disseminated by the media in a coordinated, coherent and harmonized way, within the context of the declaration of state of emergency.
  • Accurate information is key; target audiences of the media need to have the most timely and correct information available to them so as to make informed decisions about the risks associated with the disease, and as in Sierra Leone, not ignore other medical needs , and not assume the worst-case scenario for all medical emergencies.
  • The media can fulfil a role of honest broker in this instance, relaying vital, up to date, and credible information that will engage as broad an audience as possible to include communities, traditional leaders and health care workers.


 After this initial assessment, with your support, we can begin to bridge the gap in information and address the issues identified. On the whole, we understand that, of the most immediate needs, information is one of the most critical is fighting the spread of this disease; people need to know how to identify early symptoms, prevent transmission, what to do and where to receive medical help, especially if they live in remote rural areas. Rumours and false information proliferates in these situations. Communities need to be able to access relevant information through local media sources and platforms that they trust, in languages that they understand. Local media are a vital partner for agencies seeking to provide information about risk and assistance options, and an important tool to counter the rumours and false information. However only too frequently, local media themselves lack accurate and timely information, lack experience in reporting health emergencies, do not have well established contacts with the appropriate health authorities or service providers, and lack the resources to carry out the required reporting.

Thank you for partnering with us to address this very serious challenge. We will continue to update you on our progress.

In the meantime, we encourage you to share this project with your friends, family, and colleagues. For a limited time, the Paul G. Allen Foundation will be matching donations 100% for GlobalGiving projects supporting the treatment and prevention of the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. There are $100,000 available in matching funds for this effort.

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best, so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.


Thank you again for all you have done to support Internews and our mission.


Aug 13, 2014

Final Report - Radyo Bakdaw: Haiyan Relief

Radyo Bakdaw - on the air!
Radyo Bakdaw - on the air!

In November of 2013, after Typhoon Haiyan hit, Guiuan and the other municipalities in Eastern Samar experienced a complete information black out, with no phone network, TV, newspapers or radio being available. Radyo Bakdaw was the only radio station on the FM-band and the only media-house permanently based in the region.

Since then, Internews has been able to achieve so much, all because of your support. Donors like you made it possible to respond to the immediate needs of the population – including getting urgent news and information to those in search of food, water, shelter, safety, and loved ones. Later, your donations helped us to rebuild and recover, well after the Typhoon had disappeared from the headlines.


On November 26 Internews launched Radio Bakdaw (“Rise”) in Guiuan (92.9FM) broadcasting live and pre-recorded content 14 hours a day. The signal reached all of the municipalities in the most affected area and the coastal area up to Marabut, 85 kms own the road towards Tacloban.

Radio Bakdaw was run by local radio makers with a focus on ‘News-You- Can-Use’ for the people of Eastern Samar. The station broadcasted liveinterviews with government and aid officials, but also with local people who expressed their needs and shared their expertise on the recovery. It distributed messages and  announcements from aid organisations, produced news packages and quality humanitarian content on shelter, health and livelihood. To nurture the relationship with its listeners, it played songs requests that came via SMS into the station.

Equally important was the feedback Radyo Bakdaw received from the community, with over a 1000 texts a day at the height of the emergency, all of which was documented, processed and fed back into the humanitarian system to improve the quality of the service delivery.

 At the same time the radio station also functioned as an information center for the community, with people coming inside to ask the latest information about jobs, relief distribution or the weather. Internews also continuously conducted research in the region to measure impact and gauge the information needs among people in the region.


  • 1,255 hours of radio programmes were produced and broadcast every day from 6AM till 9PM, including during the two first major storms of 2014: Agathon and Basyang.
  • More than 140 organisations and government departments were able to provide information to communities through Radyo Bakdaw.
  • More than 272 people were interviewed both in the station and out in their communities.
  • 40,286 text messages were received from listeners through Radyo Bakdaw hotline.
  • 44 cases of family reunification were broadcast, of which at least 4 were solved as a direct result of the announcement on Radyo Bakdaw.
  • 249 radios were fixed by Radyo Bakdaw technicians during the weekly Radyo Repair Days.
  • 5 weekly thematic programmes were produced on livelihoods, health, shelter, mental health and youth.
  • Every week Radyo Bakdaw organised a karaoke contest effectively functioning as a psycho-social relief activity.


Internews developed the capacity and technical skill set of local broadcasters and helped them

to become “humanitarian reporters”. About 20 local enthusiasts from various backgrounds were invited to workshops and provided with on-the-job training on the production of useful information in attractive formats for listeners, with a strong sense of journalism ethics, including the importance of reliable, unbiased information.

 Besides radio training, the team also received extensive training in print-journalism to allow for a more diverse output online and in local print media. In parralell, Internews also organised training for local journalists from the emergency radio stations in Tacloban, the local commercial radio station in Guiuan, the Philippine Information Service, local government and university students.

 What’s next

 All of these activities are made possible because of your support. As we wind down our project, we are proud of the work we have been able to accomplish, and at the same time, realize that there will be many more challenges ahead. Recently, our team from Radyo Bakdaw participated in a Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities review where they were able to share their successes and challenges – and from ground zero, in Tacloban. The attached photo depicts some of the suggestions that were made by the journalists who were reporting on the ground, including those from Radyo Bakdaw.

 We know that the Philippines will continue to face new threats and challenges, particularly as the rainy season begins. We are grateful that with your help, we were able to train and prepare media professionals and communities members to be their own first responders, building more resilient communities across the country.

 Thank you again for your support!

Radyo Bakdaw responds to CDAC review
Radyo Bakdaw responds to CDAC review


May 6, 2014

30 ways your support has made an impact

Journalist mentors young journalist Rahma in Chad
Journalist mentors young journalist Rahma in Chad

It’s because of donors like you that we were able to successfully carry out so many inspiring youth-focused programs. As we close out, here’s a look back at what we were able to achieve with your support:

#30: Youth in Pakistan Learn from National Geographic Photographers

Seventeen aspiring photographers, most in their 20s, hailing from varied socio-economic backgrounds and representing the multiple regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan took part in an intensive Photo Camp organized by the National Geographic Society and Internews, and sponsored by the US Agency for International Development. (More)

#29: ‘I had almost given up on being a journalist’

Equipped with a strong desire to learn more about journalism and produce higher quality work, Sami, a young Tunisian from Ghades, a suburban town outside Tunis, applied to participate in a talk-show training in November 2012 as part of Internews’ Youth Beat project. (More)

#28: Using Public Art to Promote Social Change in Armenia

Public art with a social agenda is something fairly new in Armenia. Young artist and activist Lea recently founded the Eiva Arts Foundation to promote development of social consciousness through art. The organization’s People Daily: Art and Media project, funded by a small grant from Internews, aims to raise public awareness of human rights and social issues in Armenia. (More)

#27: Young Chadian Journalists Work to Keep Radio Stations on the Air

In a country where information is hard to come by, Internews built three community FM radio stations, providing a valuable service to the Darfuri refugee population and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in camps in eastern Chad. Because of a lack of trained journalists in the country, Internews helped young people who were novices but eager to learn take lead roles at the stations. (More)

#26: Young Chinese Journalists Travel Regionally to Research and Report on Industrial Production

Six Chinese journalists took part in a reporting trip through Thailand and Vietnam, where they had opportunities to meet with and question government, industry, and NGO leaders involved in industrial production, learning about the impacts on health and the environment. (More)

#25: Fresh Approach to Voter Fatigue Turns Zombies Loose in Ukraine

A video for crowdsourced election monitoring platform, features zombies roaming the streets of Kyiv. While unsuspecting locals scream upon discovering the walking dead, subtitles explain: “Why are people turning into zombies? Stop the epidemic: follow the elections.” (More)

#24: Student with Disabilities Encourages Afghan Youth to Access Technology, Education

“I want to tell young people in this country to work hard and to focus on their education,” says Mujahid. “Young people should work hard, because the future of this country depends on youth.” (More)

#23: Cui Zheng: A Young Reporter in China Covers Environmental Issues

Cui, 27, is a reporter with Caixin Media, arguably one of the best newsmakers in China. She covers news related to environment, technology, energy, and food safety and publishes instant news and feature stories on, and a magazine, Caixin Century Weekly. Prior to her position in Caixin, she worked as a news assistant with The Guardian. (More)

#22: Egyptian Youth Learn About Media, Civic and Social Participation

“I used to watch TV [and] radio, but never realized that I can do film or be an announcer,” said Mohamed, one of 50 Egyptian students who recently took part in two social media camps designed to expand youth participation in Egyptian media. (More)

#21: Young Storytellers Excel in Kenya

Like many young journalists, Rawlings struggled to compete with seasoned journalists, who mainly report on politics. Then he began to carve out a niche for himself in health journalism. (More)

#20: First Central African Journalism University Grads Join Internews Project

The Department of Journalism at the University of Bangui graduated its first class of professionally trained journalists this month, and celebrated their achievement at an Internews-sponsored ceremony. (More)

#19: New Space for Kenyan Youth to Engage in Health Issues

“Where's my Seat?” is the title of a video post on the new youth online platform K-HUG (Kenya Health User-Generated Content). The post explores the government’s push to ensure that public transport vehicles are accessible to persons with disabilities. (More)

#18: Partner Profile: In Malaysia, Youth Use Mapping to Address Religious Understanding

Kota, a youth advocacy organization in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is conducting a series of interactive mapping projects for youth. Young, trained volunteers explore and learn about their communities on foot, noting and logging religious institutions into an online map that highlights the cultural and religious diversity of the area. (More)

#17: Indonesian Youth Tap into Social Media

With more than 43 million Facebook accounts and 19 million active Twitter users, Indonesia boasts the second highest number of social media users in Asia. (More)

#16: Yntymak Radio Aims to Reconcile Uzbek and Kyrgyz Communities after Violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan

Yntymak (“Accord” or “Harmony”), a public radio station in the southern city of Osh, employs a staff of 14 young journalists, half Kyrgyz and half Uzbek, and broadcasts news and human interest stories that promote positive images of both communities. (More)

#15: Young Ugandan Journalist Uses Video Advocacy to Fight Injustices

Twenty-seven year old Helen is the Media and Communication officer at Refugee Law Project based in the war torn northern region of Uganda, where she has found a passion for video advocacy, using it to fight injustices and human rights abuses. (More)

#14: Egyptian Youth Use Multimedia to Engage Citizens

Yasmine, a young journalist in Aswan, Egypt, established a public campaign using social media tools to address discrimination against women and tribal power in elections. (More)

#13: Citizen Journalists from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India Connect on “Bridges of Youth”

Growing out of a Kabul-based master class on peace and citizen journalism, Pul-e-Jawan (Bridges of Youth) has become a platform and ongoing exchange of ideas for young people involved in media in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. (More)

#12: Seminars Encourage Youth in Kyrgyzstan to Mobilize Their Communities for Social Change

Through the series of seminars “Youth Ideas in New and Traditional Media,” Internews has been teaching youth in cities and towns throughout Kyrgyzstan to use traditional and online media to help solve local problems. (More)

#11: Youth-Focused Projects Lead the Field at Social Innovation Camp Central Asia 2012

The second annual Central Asia-wide Social Innovation Camp took place from May 31-June 2 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Fifty young web designers, programmers, bloggers and activists were selected to take part of the event out of 138 applicants from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. (More)

#10: Young Afghan Women Find Self-Expression with Digital Storytelling

As participants in a Take Back the Tech! training this May in Kabul, several young women found a new opportunity for self-expression through digital storytelling. Through short videos now available online, the women narrated their stories and captured their ideas visually, through drawings and pictures. (More)

#9: Palestinian Youth Speak Out on Haki Shabab

“It’s a program developed by the youth for the youth dealing with their issues growing up in Palestine, using social media as a way to engage with them,” says Alaa, Program Director for Radio Tariq Al Mahaba in Nablus, about the newly re-launched show, Haki Shabab (Youth Talk). (More)

#8: Cross-Border Film Project Gives Turks and Armenians a Glimpse into Each Other's Cultures

Internews brought together young Turkish and Armenian filmmakers (six from each country) to create twelve short documentaries exploring historical, social, and cultural issues. The films, depicting human stories from both sides of the border, provide a unique window into a world that audiences would otherwise never see. (More)

#7: Website on Minority Issues Helps Twin Brothers Achieve Their Goals

Anes and Enis are 16-year-old twin brothers who live in Hadzici, a suburb of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anes, an aspiring filmmaker, produced an amateur documentary about his brother, who has cerebral palsy, and the struggles he encounters in daily life. (More)

#6: Citizen Journalist Clubs in West Bank and Gaza Help Young Graduates Build Their Skills

More than a year before the Arab Spring, Internews began Citizen Journalist, a project for a group of newly graduated journalists in the West Bank and Gaza. Ten young men and ten young women were trained in multimedia production and the use of blogs and social media in reporting. (More)

#5: Partner Profile: European Youth Press

The European Youth Press (EYP) supports young journalists throughout Europe by connecting them across borders, bringing them together to cover international events and question politicians, and increasing access to diverse sources and points of view. (More)

#4: Young Afghans Rush to Study Media

Journalists are faced with few opportunities in Afghanistan for increasing their knowledge and technical skills. For the first time in Afghanistan, aspiring journalists, broadcasters and media managers have the opportunity to partake in a highly practical radio, television, print and new media curriculum at the Nai Media Institute’s Diploma in Media. (More)

#3: Partner Profile: iHub

In Kenya, young technologists and innovators have created a unique space for collaboration and incubation at iHub, a community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. (More)

#2: M@trixTV Program Excites Central Asian Youth about Technology and Innovation

M@trix is a youth-oriented TV program focusing on the latest developments in Internet and technology, reported by young journalists and reaching an audience of 13-25-year-olds across Central Asia. (More)

#1: Young Afghan Writers Find Expression through Poetry

The Afghan Youth Voices Festival, a year-round series of workshops and events supporting youth-driven media in Afghanistan, ran a nationwide poetry competition for hundreds of young poets last year, and the winning poems were published in an anthology, entitled “Voices of Peace.” (More)


Thank you again for your support! - the Internews Team


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