Seasons greetings from IMS

IMS was privileged to celebrate 20 years as an organisation in 2021, and I can think of no other year in recent memory that has struck so close to the heart of our mission and purpose and redoubled our commitment to our work.

It has been a year that clearly illustrated how access to information can save lives and how disinformation can be weaponised against a population. It provided further evidence of a need for democratic alternatives to the tech giants that dominate our lives. And in the face of the global trend of democratic backsliding, we are more convinced than ever that reliable journalism and independent media are a first line of defence against corruption and authoritarianism.

This has been a year where we have seen major crises in MyanmarAfghanistan and Ethiopia; where our partner’s offices were hit in an airstrike in Palestine; and a dictator contravened all international protocols to send a threat to Belarusian journalists. It has been yet another year of continued strain under the Covid-19 pandemic, with media outlets struggling to operate and unequal access to vaccines has meant that the virus continue to be a threat in many parts of the world. 

But we have also seen positive developments: our partners’ involvement in major investigations through the Pegasus Project and Pandora Papers. At IMS, we cheered when the film The Last Shelter won the main prize at this year’s CPH:DOX. And the media world as a whole celebrated the courage of Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov who received the Nobel peace prize, an acknowledgement of and tribute to journalism’s contribution to democracy.

We have had to take the bitter with the sweet; indeed, some of our greatest achievements have been the ability to continue operating despite extraordinary challenges. In all the countries IMS has been engaged in 2021, we have seen our partners produce and distribute amazing journalism even under the most hostile conditions and an increased public appreciation and trust in this form of public interest journalism from the public. After 20 years, I am still convinced of the need for IMS’ work. I am proud of the organisation’s continued commitment and ability to work in some of the world’s most challenging contexts with the boldest, most dedicated and spirited partners. 

Thank you for your continued interest in IMS’ work, your support of independent media and joining us in the belief that good journalism really does create better societies.

Warm regards from Copenhagen,

Jesper Højberg,
Executive Director