Global Press Institute
|Industry||Journalism, Social Entrepreneurship Women|
|Founded||2006, United States|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, United States|
|Products||Training, employment, education.|
The Global Press Institute, formerly the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World, is a San Francisco-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with international operations in 27 countries. GPI was founded on the premise that, with appropriate training, local women in developing countries can become quality journalists. It identifies the social, historical and political context that these women possess as a factor distinguishing them from traditional foreign correspondents.
The organization consists of three divisions: Global Press Institute, which focuses on training local women to become journalists in developing media markets; Global Press Journal, which oversees content production; and Global Press News Service, which sells content from Global Press Journal and other sources to media, education, and corporate syndication partners.
GPI was founded in 2006 by Cristi Hegranes, a young American journalist. A year earlier, Hegranes had been working as a foreign correspondent in Nepal when she traveled to a rural eastern village, where she met the village matriarch, Pratima C. While working with Pratima, Hegranes realized that despite her extensive Nepali network and Nepali language skills, she did not have the same insights as Pratima. Hegranes concluded that local women were better equipped to tell stories about their communities because they had more cultural context and greater access to reliable sources. She identified the lack of a formal journalism education and access to a credible global platform as the main hurdles preventing local women like Pratima from becoming quality journalists. With this in mind, she founded Global Press Institute.
In 2006 Hegranes performed the first GPI training in Chiapas, Mexico, where five women were trained in the principles and practice of traditional investigative journalism. The stories, which covered topics such as AIDS, poverty, clandestine abortion and community development, were the first that were published by the Global Press Journal. Hegranes established a second news desk in Nepal. As of 2016, the organization has trained and employed 150 journalists in 26 countries. In addition to print journalism, GPI training includes photo and video journalism.
Mission and Impact
Through its women-centered approach, Global Press Institute aims to combat what it identifies as two major global issues: the declining quality of international news and women’s rights.
GPI trainees are instructed in traditional investigative journalism. Their work addresses a variety of issues and stands in stark contrast with traditional foreign correspondence narratives, 97% of which center around four main issues: war, disease, disaster and poverty.
GPI reporters have covered a range of issues such as caste discrimination and political rape. Founder Hegranes has said more than 25 percent of GPI's reporting has created social change in the form of protests, attracting media attention, and helping to change laws in Nepal and Rwanda and some community policies in Zambia.
GPJ currently has reporters operating in Argentina, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, India-administered Kashmir, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Romania, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, United States (San Francisco headquarters and three Native American reservations), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Training is provided in the prospective journalist's local language and English is not a requirement. Some GPI journalists have only a fourth-grade literacy level. GPI currently provides training in 13 languages.
GPI implements a training-to-employment mode. Trainees enroll in a paid six-month training program, during which they learn the principles and practice of investigative journalism through classroom-style training and direct content-production. Upon completion of the training, graduates are offered long-term employment with Global Press Journal.
Funding and Support
GPI does not accept government funding. It currently relies on individual and foundation donors, with plans to move towards sustainability through syndication revenue generated from Global Press News Service. Donors include the MacArthur Foundation, Glaser Progress Foundation, Open Road Alliance, Open Square Foundation, and The Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation.
Global Press Journal
Global Press Journal is an international news journal featuring stories from local, community-based reporters across 26 countries. GPJ exclusively employs reporters trained by Global Press Institute. Each GPJ employee earns a living wage as well as access to continuing education.
GPJ bureaus are ongoing training centers offering courses on topics such as climate change and other issues as well as technical skills including fact-checking and multimedia. GPJ journalists cover a range of topics including: arts and culture, business, community, education, environment, gender justice, health, and politics. Most of their stories revolve around topics that mainstream journalists often overlook.
GPJ’s model requires that each reporter source and fact-check her stories before they are submitted for editing. Country editors based at local news desks supervise reporting and complete the first round of editing for each story. Regional editors help shape the stories, add global context and perform a third fact-check. GPJ’s managing editor and executive editor each review every story for accuracy and news value before it is published on the news wire.
GPJ reporters have received international awards and accolades including:
- 2013 Ulrich Wickert Award for Child Rights, awarded to Gloriose Isugi and Noella Nbihogo, Rwanda News Desk.
- 2012 Zambian Reporter of the Year, HIV/AIDS and Gender-based Violence Coverage, awarded to GPJ reporter Chanda Katango, Zambia News Desk.
- 2012 Excellence in Epilepsy Reporting, the International Bureau of Epilepsy, awarded to GPJ reporter Comfort Mussa, Cameroon News Desk.
- 2011 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship, International Women’s Media Foundation, awarded to GPJ reporter Jackee Batanda, Uganda News Desk.
- 2011 Kurt Schork Award, Excellence in International Journalism, Reuters, awarded to GPJ reporter Gertrude Pswarayi, Zimbabwe News Desk.
- 2011 Kurt Schork Award, Excellence in International Journalism Shortlist, Reuters, awarded to GPJ senior reporter Tara Bhattarai, Nepal News Desk.
- 2010 Journalism Innovation Prize, Society of Professional Journalists, awarded to Global Press Institute.
Global Press News Service
Global Press News Service is the syndication division of the Global Press Institute. Global Press News Service manages the paid syndication of stories produced by reporters working for the Global Press Journal.
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