History

Since 2005, training programs for Rwandan journalists have been sponsored by Open Society Institute, GLMI and the World Press Institute. GLMI is linked with a Rwanda liaison group composed of media directors, owners, journalism association leaders and journalists to determine what programming is provided. Those subjects offered have been the practical training needed in radio broadcasting, investigative reporting coursework and documentary photojournalism seminars.

Our efforts have supported training sessions led by prize-winning journalists from the Great Lakes region and the United States. Those sessions have included radio training with workshop leaders Margaret Juuko of Uganda’s Makerere University and Alexis Sinduhije, founder and director of Radio Publique Africaine in Bujumbura, Burundi, and the 2004 recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award. Sessions emphasized key elements of solid reporting to better inform the public mixed with managerial essentials: hiring a diverse journalist workforce and ideas for economic sustainability.

In December 2006, Ron Nixon, an editor at The New York Times specializing in computer-assisted reporting, and Paul McEnroe, an investigative reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune taught an investigative reporting and writing course to Rwandan newspaper, television and radio reporters. Throughout the seminar, the reporting corps was exposed to a host of topics: the art of conducting a successful interview with a reluctant target, computer-assisted research of corporations, transparency reporting of social justice issues ranging from domestic violence to homeless children, economic reporting of health care and methods to detect fraud by researching accountability audits.

John Ullmann, the World Press Institute’s former director, has been a mentor for so many investigative journalists due to his role as the first IRE executive director when the organization found a home at the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School and then as the assistant managing editor for projects at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. His input was critical for the recent investigative course led by Nixon and McEnroe and ongoing training envisioned in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region for 2008.

Longtime Associated Press photo editor Sally Stapleton first traveled to Rwanda in early 1994, two months before the genocide. She oversaw AP’s photo coverage which was recognized with the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography. She has returned to Rwanda nearly every year since on reporting trips or to conduct training. The AP and Agence France Presse have donated digital cameras to GLMI’s efforts to provide visual journalism courses. Stapleton leads an ongoing course: “Photojournalism: The Value of the Moment.”