MediaBridge: Global collaborations on untold stories

The digital platform MediaBridge enables collaborating media to bring compelling and essential stories from hard-to-reach places around the world to a global audience. IMS has partnered with Danwatch to bring this platform to life, with on-the-ground reporters and media outlets producing remarkable results.

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What problems does MediaBridge solve?

In underreported areas, critical stories go untold

A clear example of this is Yemen, which has become inaccessible to international media in recent years. Other stories, such as those amplifying the voices of women and other marginalised groups, often go unheard, especially from conflict-affected areas.

Business models for media outlets are broken

The dip in journalism revenue has reduced the number of journalists and subsequently the number of sources and exclusive stories that are available.

Current methods of foreign reporting are imperfect

For many media outlets, parachute journalism (quick stints reporting from abroad with little formal background or context of the setting) is unsustainable and undesirable.

Covid-19 has accelerated these trends

With international travel heavily restricted, increased audience migration to digital platforms and a growing lack of stability worldwide, the potential market for Mediabridge is expanding.

MediaBridge is an online platform for media outlets looking to bring necessary stories to their audiences. MediaBridge facilitates remote collaborative journalism, offering a new model for foreign coverage supporting on-the-ground reporters. The MediaBridge community of independent professionals can jointly elevate stories with global impact by sharing untold stories from underreported regions. Independent outlets around the world have used MediaBridge to connect to larger outlets, having their work placed in such reputable outlets as the Guardian, the New York Times and Libération.

Click here to visit the MediaBridge website
to learn more and sign up.

Examples of projects

Video still of a woman journalist from Mexico sitting in a park. From the Open Democracy article Rights Defenders at Risk in Mexico

Rights defenders at risk in Mexico

Illegal construction and excessive planting of cash crops are threatening the ecosystem of protected wetlands in Xoxhimilco, Mexico, with extinction. But rampant corruption among government authorities and collusions between local police and cartels have allowed companies to construct properties on protected land and exploit natural resources. Eighteen human rights defenders, the majority environmental and land rights activists, were murdered in 2020.

Over May 2020, MediaBridge shadowed Mexican journalist Verónica Basurto and her colleagues as they collected interviews from women land and environmental rights defenders across Mexico for an investigation into the heightened risks that they face in the pandemic period.

Screengrab from the Guardian: Revealed: devestation that awaits Syrians facing expulsion by Denmark
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Uncovering the realities that await Syrian refugees facing deportation

In April 2021, the Danish government declared that some areas of Syria, including Damascus, were now safe and such would not renew the residency permits of Syrians who had been given asylum in Denmark.

MediaBridge worked with journalism network Lighthouse Reports and local partner Rozana Radio to reveal that Syrians who face deportation would, among other dangers, return to homes and neighbourhoods that have been destroyed during the war.

zetland article Sådan her foregår organhandel. Kom med ind i en ofte overset kriminel underverden
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Organ trafficking exposed through Danish-Iranian collaboration

Instagram ads in Iran targeted people in desperate situations offering to help them to sell their organs. Organ trafficking has moved from the dark web to social networks. The attention the story garnered forced Instagram to react.

Says Zetland cofounder Jakob Moll: “Our collaboration with the exiled Iranian colleagues from Zamaneh made it possible to open a world that would have been inaccessible to us otherwise. We wrote a story ‘on top’ of their unique research on how social media underpins the black market for human organs in Iran. The flexibility of the partnership meant that we could add context and our own research to achieve something that felt true to our editorial tone-of-voice while getting the best of the great work from the talented journalists from Zamaneh.”

Article from Libération: l'extreme pauvreté le monde va augmenter pour la première fois depuis plus de vingt ans
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Bringing consequences of Covid-19 in the Middle East to French readers

In December 2020, the French newspaper Libération was looking for trustworthy and critical coverage of how the pandemic has influenced Middle Eastern countries. Over four weeks, the online version of Libération published four stories with on-the-ground reporting provided by ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism), in a collaboration facilitated by MediaBridge.

“The MediaBridge programme allowed a very interesting collaboration between French daily Liberation with production by Arab investigative journalists, coordinated by ARIJ. A selection of extensive reports from various Arab countries, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis were translated and edited in French then published on Liberation’s website. What was really appreciated was to publish field reports from local journalists in countries often unreachable for our French reporters, like Yemen or Bahrain for example. Moreover, the specific angles chosen for the stories and the investigative work done were particularly relevant and interesting.”

Hala Kodmani (Middle East Editor at Liberation)

Rawan Damen, Director Genderal of ARIJ, echoes the benefits of collaborating through MediaBridge: “We have travelled all over the world. We made personal bridges, but our stories did not as much as they should, and they can. MediaBridge helped us reach new audiences with our Arabic language stories, in more languages, in different regions and with a larger impact.”

Screen grab of video from New York Times: Militants Attacked a Key Town in Mozambique. Where Was the Government?
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Contributing to an exposé of the Mozambique government’s negligence

Insurgents declaring loyalty to Islamic State targeted the port city of Palma, Mozambique, in March 2021. The government claimed it mobilised to protect its citizens. An investigation shows that the government tried to downplay the severity of the attack and what few resources were deployed went to protecting and evacuating employees of the privately-owned French gas company, Total.