“Transparency is the Greatest Weapon against Injustice”

Independent media is an important foundation of every democratic society  — but in many countries there is no free media or hardly any. At the international workshop of Right Livelihood College (RLC) at the campus in Bonn, doctoral candidates discussed the challenges facing independent media from the context of development policy with Alternative Nobel Prize laureate Amy Goodman and other experts.  

RLC fellows at the Global Media Forum in Bonn  Photo: Deutsche Welle

RLC fellows at the Global Media Forum in Bonn
Photo: Deutsche Welle

“Media and Development: From Individual Participation to Mass Mobilization” was the topic of this year’s RLC Bonn workshop, held from 28th June to 3rd July. Nine doctoral candidates from developing and threshold countries, most of them DAAD scholarship holders, not only presented their research on the role of media in Africa, the Middle East and South America, but also participated in the Global Media Forum of the Deutsche Welle. At this international media conference, representatives of the media met with players in politics, economy, culture and development policy. An excellent opportunity to become familiar with current challenges facing worldwide media and discuss this topic with high-ranking experts.

One of the participants in the RLC Workshop is also guest of honour at the Global Media Forum: Amy Goodman, American journalist, founder of the news programme “Democracy Now!” and recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, the Alternative Nobel Prize 2008. In her keynote “Independent media in a time of war”, the laureate emphasised the importance of transparency in conflict reporting. “We have a responsibility to portray the reality of war objectively. Transparency is the greatest weapon against injustice.”

Beneficial for own research
“I found it very interesting to discuss the challenges of journalistic work with Amy Goodman. The exchange with other experts is also very beneficial to me,” says Diderot Djiala Melle, DAAD scholarship holder from Cameroon, who is currently researching the perception of HIV/AIDs in Cameroon’s media at the University of Bayreuth.

The Global Media Forum is not the only factor that makes Bonn the ideal location for the RLC Workshop. In May 2014, the RLC Global Secretariat, which coordinates RLC activities at seven universities worldwide, relocated from Malaysia to Bonn, further enhancing the appeal of the RLC Campus Bonn.

More about the RLC Workshops 2013:
Promoting environmental change through applied research
No women, no change

What is the Right Livelihood College Campus Bonn?
The Right Livelihood College (RLC) Campus Bonn, founded in 2011, is financed by the DAAD and is seated in the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn.  The RLC campus in Bonn is one of seven RLC campuses worldwide.  It promotes exchange between Alternative Noble Prize laureates and doctoral candidates from developing nations.  Access to the rich and extensive knowledge and experience of the prize laureates provides these young scientists and scholars from the developing world with the training they need to become effective decision-makers and multipliers in their home countries.  The DAAD provides three-year PhD scholarships for doctoral research conducted at the RLC Campus Bonn in the areas of social justice, poverty and sustainability.


What is the Alternative Noble Prize?
The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, was presented for the first time in 1980 by the Right Livelihood Foundation in Stockholm.  The prize recognises individuals and organisations who are "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today".  RLA recipients are actively involved in the promotion of peace, human rights and environmental issues.