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Copenhagen/Maldives/Sri Lanka, September 2020 – Media4Democracy has launched the fourth round of its Fellowship programme – Strengthening Institutional Leaders in Support of Media Pluralism – with the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives, having made significant COVID-context adaptations.

Five Fellows from leading media organisations and media institutions in Maldives had been selected pre-COVID to travel to Denmark for a three-week intensive programme in June 2020.

With the Copenhagen visit now postponed to 2021, Media4Democracy experts are delivering a customised, remote-learning curriculum of 10 weekly workshops in September and October 2020, and regular individual coaching sessions that will start in September and continue to March 2021.

The adapted hybrid programme will allow Media4Democracy to explore new ways to deliver effective training and coaching to Fellows remotely, and is expected to provide key lessons for a range of future remote programmes.

During the first online workshop, Frank Hess, Head of Cooperation, and Reema Hawwa Mohammed at the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives joined the session and participated in a discussion with the Fellows about the key challenges facing independent media in Maldives, including new challenges as a result of the global pandemic. Media4Democracy experts Francesca Silvani, Henrik Ahrens and Mogens Blicher Bjerregaård welcomed the Fellows to the programme, presented the curriculum of the programme and initiated a training module on the role of media in society.

During the remote programme, Fellows will be supported to plan projects – either working individually or with other Fellows – which they will then be supported to implement in the following months through continued coaching from Media4Democracy until March 2021. The projects under consideration include improving the situation in Maldives for investigative journalism, Access to Information, media self-regulation, and a stronger journalist association. The Fellows and their organisations are:

  • Mohamed Junayd of Maldives Journalism Association
  • Mohamed Sharafudheen of
  • Rae Munavvar of The Edition
  • Ali Yoosuf of Maldives Broadcasting Commission
  • Shaffan Gasim of Information Commissioner’s Office of Maldives

Following the close of the remote programme in March 2021, Fellows are expected to travel to Denmark for an abbreviated intensive segment. Fellows will be based at the Danish Union of Journalists, a leading media institution in Copenhagen, where they will meet Danish experts and peers from media organisations and institutions.