Mongolian journalists want to publish reports free of political and economic interests. DW Akademie is supporting them in their quest for media independence.
Although communist rule ended in Mongolia more than three decades ago, its influence can still be felt in the country’s media sector, where media ownership is concentrated in the hands of political and business interests. In addition, hundreds of media outlets emerged after the country opened up in 1990, resulting in an information overload for Mongolia's ’s 3.3 million people who live in the most sparsely populated country in the world.
Media organizations and journalists have difficulties operating profitably, and the quality as well as the credibility of their work has dropped. This in turn has undermined the media’s efforts to promote democracy.
DW Akademie’s projects in Mongolia strengthen journalists’ skills in reporting professionally and credibly, free from political influence and protected by a modern press law. A key advocate has been the Media Council of Mongolia (MCM), a recognized instrument of media self-regulation that was founded in 2015 with DW Akademie support.
MCM has also become a strong voice in media policy, publicly addressing restrictions on freedom of the press and information, including during the pandemic, and promoting cooperation on crisis management between state and civil society actors. MCM has also contributed significantly to the political debate on a planned revision of the country's press law.
Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is another DW Akadeie focus, helping media consumers to orient themselves in the public sphere and distinguish between quality journalism and disinformation.
An MIL taskforce, directed by the Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA), the Press Institute of Mongolia (PIM) and the Faro Foundation Mongolia, has developed advanced training for public school teachers that was certified for the first time in 2020.
Extended school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need to fully digitize the national teacher qualification program. For this, the project is developing adaptable training modules on MIL content and digital methods. As part of its activities, DW Akademie also works with Mongolian fact-checkers.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Patrick Benning
Local partners: Media Council of Mongolia (MCM), Media Education Alliance (MEA)Faro Foundation Press Institute of Mongolia (PIM), Globe International Centre (GIC), Mongolian Center for Investigative Reporters (MCIR), NEST Center for Journalism Innovation
Main focus: Political and legal frameworks, media self-regulation and journalism ethics, Median and Information Literacy (MIL), fact-checking