Global Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Reinventing journalism to serve local communities

How do you represent lesser known communities and share their stories in a way that ensures an accurate and dignified depiction of their reality? You employ local female reporters and that’s exactly what Global Press has been doing since 2006 by enabling local talent and producing exceptional stories for a global audience.

Global Press is an international news organisation that exists to create a more just and informed world by training and then employing local journalists to produce ethical, accurate news coverage from the world’s least covered places.

With over 100 female reporters across 40 communities in over two dozen countries and a Global Press accuracy network (team of translators, fact checkers, copyeditors and interpreters); the non-profit news organisation is dedicated to reinventing both the craft and business of international journalism

We train and employ local journalists exclusively. They are women reporting from the world’s least covered places – Global Press CEO, Cristi Hegranes

Global Press Institute hosts a rigorous 4-month program that equips trainees with world-class, professional journalism skills including reporting methods, photojournalism and ethical, journalistic decision-making. Trainings are conducted in person and trainees put their new reporting skills into practice from the start.

Upon successful completion, these female reporters are offered a Global Press Journal (GPJ) employment contract where they cover local stories layered with important historical, political and cultural context of the places they are from. This holistic approach to journalism builds trust within local communities and globally across the industry.

Man breathing fire in Zambia
Prudence Phiri, GPJ Zambia / Alamy Stock Photo

Patrick Chikoloma, a member of the Circus Zambia group, breathes fire for a group of excited children at the Lusaka Showgrounds in Lusaka, Zambia.

An honest and ethical way of doing journalism

“We’ve flipped the idea of what international reporting could and should be by saying that the future of international journalism should be in the hands of local reporters who have access to local communities, can provide nuanced analysis and historical context, and speak the local language of their sources. It would be nearly impossible for someone to dip in and out of a place without that context and cover it holistically and accurately like a GPJ reporter is capable of doing,” elaborates COO, Laxmi Parthasarathy.

The Global Press network works within a robust editorial structure to produce integrity-rich, accurate journalism that features local voices, deep context and nuanced analysis on topics rarely covered elsewhere. All stories are published in the reporter’s local language and English to serve local and global readers. Languages include French, Spanish, Mongolian, Nepali, Tamil, and English.

“Diversity of thought can only come through diversity of experience,” says Parthasarathy. She believes that this is a pivotal moment as we take a closer look at international journalism.

Journalism in the time of coronavirus

GPJ reporters focus on consequence-driven journalism where they delve into the long-term consequences of current events or situations, now their focus is on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on local communities.

In this time of a global pandemic when there are all sorts of unique coronavirus stories to be told; we’re seeing that our reporters have unprecedented access to unique stories and photos right now – Global Press COO, Laxmi Parthasarathy

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ripple across the world, GPJ reporters are shining a light on territories that are often not represented in the media and the stories are honest, raw and thought provoking.

For instance Nakisanze Segawa, a senior GPJ reporter in Kampala, Uganda; recently wrote about Ugandan sex workers who are experiencing unique challenges. What’s even more unique is that all of her sources are sex workers.

Trust is imperative in journalism and there is a lot of work that goes into building trust with your sources; which is what makes the GPJ reporters’ access so valuable. Without them, these important stories would be left untold or distorted.

Khorloo Khukhnohoi, GPJ Mongolia / Alamy Stock Photo

Javzandulam Purevjav and her children have made regular hand-washing a part of their day.

In Mongolia, handwashing habits have decreased the number of common intestinal infections by 55.5% and have also reduced respiratory illnesses.

Puerto Rico GPJ reporter, Coraly Cruz Mejías, recently explored how coronavirus lockdown restrictions could trap abused women.

In countries including Mexico, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Uganda and Mongolia, GPJ has also highlighted the optimistic outcomes of COVID-19 such as how the pandemic has inspired creative problem-solving and how communities are looking after those most in need.

Nakisanze Segawa, GPJ Uganda / Alamy Stock Photo

Nantongo Sharifah and her husband, Kalibala John, receive a tin of powdered milk and sugar from a member of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF), the country’s armed forces.

Another GPJ reporter, Odonchimeg Batsukh, is the only epidemiologist at the largest hospital in Mongolia’s Arkhangai province. Her access to stories exploring how her country is tackling the spread of COVID-19 is another example of the diverse and well-rounded the Global Press Journal reporting team. She’s had to pause on her journalism for the time being but will have a wealth of content in the future.

Global Press is values led and everyone in the organisation follows four core values: dignity, diversity, transparency and excellence. These core values allow them to prioritize accuracy over speed and human dignity over click-bait headlines.

GPJ reporters use the Global Press Style Guide that forms a strong ethical foundation and advises on inclusive language that better represents lesser known communities. It is a living document that establishes rules for referring to people and places around the world. Each entry is crafted to promote dignity and precision in international journalism.

If we want to write about the world differently, we have to think about the world differently. These are extraordinary times; it’s time to be precise and to treat everyone with dignity – Global Press CEO, Cristi Hegranes

When underrepresented communities are covered with dignity and precision, they are enabled to highlight vital socio-economic issues and social impact needs; which is the first step in encouraging positive change in the world.

Global Press is an invitation to see the world differently; which is why we are proud to showcase their content on the Alamy library. See more of the Global Press collection.

Katie Hayes

Katie has over a decade’s experience in digital marketing and graphic design so has experienced first-hand the importance of stock photography and how it can make or break effective storytelling.

Read more from Katie