2018 was the year RNTC celebrated half a century since first opening its doors to media professionals from around the world looking to develop their skills. Since then, RNW Media’s training centre had earned an enviable reputation as a centre of excellence and innovation. More than 5,500 media professionals and dozens of media and non-profit organisations have benefited from RNTC’s expertise in delivering state-of-the-art, career-changing courses and tailor-made trainings.
Over the past 50 years, RNTC has trained participants from 58 developing countries, in five languages. But annually, only 100 of the 900 students from developing countries who apply are granted a scholarship to attend a course. So to mark its 50th year, RNTC launched a Scholarship Fund for Media Development to train talented individuals and build more powerful voices. So far the fund has raised 25.000 from donors including The US State Department Enough to train 7 people – and fundraising continues.
Other events to mark this anniversary included masterclasses for NGOS and civil society organisations in the Netherlands on using media for behaviour change.
Online Academy launched
Alongside the birthday celebrations, the RNTC team pursued its mission of delivering high quality trainings, seminars, presentations and workshops both at its base in Hilversum and in the field at locations all around the globe. Two and three-week residential courses in Hilversum covered topics such as data and investigative journalism, becoming a digital content creative, media campaigns for development and social change and reaching your audience with storytelling. 2018 also saw the launch of RNTC’s Online Academy in multiple languages – English, French, Arabic and Chinese. This interactive platform allows participants to prepare and access training materials and means RNTC can serve a broader range of trainees.
Activities outside the Netherlands included tailor-made trainings for Somali and Sudanese media professionals in Ethiopia, workshops in Romania on tackling disinformation and fake news in Eastern Europe and Global Reporting Initiative trainings in multiple locations including South Africathe Philippines and Peru.
Media for development
As well as working with media professionals, RNTC offers specialised capacity building for NGOs and development professionals. 2018 saw a team of senior trainers heading to Washington for a workshop to explore the World Bank’s role in media, good governance and development with participants from the Bank and the Center for International Media Assistance . Media development programmes remain fragmented and poorly funded, making up a tiny fraction of overall development spending. The workshop brought together experts to contribute concrete ideas about how the World Bank can support efforts to build vibrant and well-governed media systems for development.
Back in the Netherlands, RNTC partnered with TechSoup Europe to train civil society activists on how to tell their stories persuasively and held a workshop at the IGNITE conference in Amsterdam to focus on counter radicalisation in Erbil.
The other important role RNTC fills is internal capacity development for RNW Media colleagues and 2018 saw trainings take place on a diverse range of topics from project management to social media campaigns and user-centred design both in Hilversum and in the countries where RNW Media has local teams.