Monday, 27 November 2017

Vikes activities August-December 2017

In the beginning of September 2017, Vikes sent three participants to the Tallinn International Roundtable and one panelist to the international conference organized by Mondo on securitization of ODA. The chosen participants represented the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, NGO platform Kepa, Saferglobe think tank, and one was a freelance journalist with a history of working in Afghanistan.
Continuing with journalist trainings, a second course titled “From Stereotypes to Covering Global Interdependencies – Training for Journalists by Journalists” was organized by Vikes on September 21-23 in Helsinki. Whereas a similar course organized in May targeted particularly journalism students and journalists who had worked less than 5 years in the profession, the September training was aimed at more experienced journalists already in working life. 

There were altogether 7 journalists participating in the training on behalf of Media for Development programme in September. From Estonia, Czech Republic and Slovakia we had one journalist per country, and from Latvia and Lithuania two participants.

Feedback from participants was gathered both a few days after the training, and an overall assessment/follow-up made in end of November 2017. The feedback from participants of the Helsinki training was very good: the overall grade given to the training was 4,5 out of 5. 81% felt the training was a success and exceeded their expectations. All participants said they would recommend the training to colleagues in the future. 95% of the participants felt they got new information about development issues at the training, and considered very probable that they would write about the issues discussed in the training in the future.

The participants in the May and September trainings represented the following media:, Postimees, Cesky Rozhlas,, Müürileht, Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji, The Slovak Spectator, Idnes, NNVBO platform, Lietuvos zinios, Dennik N, Latvijas Radio.

Participants in both May and September trainings have had the opportunity to keep in touch with each other and trainers in a closed Facebook group, which has altogether 79 members in end of November 2017. Participants have shared links to articles they have written, asked for advice from each other and organisers have shared grant opportunities etc. in the group. The group URL is: .

On the basis of both the May and September trainings, an online guidebook titled “Reporter’s Guide: Covering Development as a Journalist” was developed in collaboration with Haaga-Helia School of Applied Sciences and the Finnish Lifelong Learning Society. 

The online guide was published in English on December 12, 2017 and disseminated among all the Media for Development partners for use across Europe. The guide can be found here.

Vikes invited Philip Jakpor, from Environmental Rights Action (ERA), the Vikes Nigeria project partner, as a guest speaker to the September Helsinki training. In addition, Mr. Jakpor visited Bratislava, Slovakia and gave a presentation in two events for journalists; one at the Comenius University for journalism students, and a media breakfast event for Slovak journalists. Both events had good attendance numbers and the audience was active in asking questions and commenting. Article: 

Also the Finnish NGO platform Kepa published an interview with Mr. Jakpor:
In addition, two participants of the Helsinki trainings are writing articles about developments in freedom of speech in Czech Republic and Slovakia, which are due for publishing in Vikes Press Freedom blog in beginning of 2018.

During the course of the journalist trainings Vikes also produced three video interviews with guest speakers, which were shared in Vikes social media channels. Below are the links:

Interview with Elva Narcia (MEX)

Interview with Philip Jakpor (NG)

Interview with Aishi Zidan (FIN)

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