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Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$14 325.00

Suriname has 19 television stations, 34 radio stations, 4 newspapers, 9 community radio stations, approximately 10 journals and about 9 new media news sites. The State owns 1 radio station 1 one television station. The rest of the media is privately owned. About 150 journalists are working at the media. The media sector employs mostly ‘self-made’ media workers who largely need to be educated and trained. This need also originates from a strong increase in the number of news media in the previous years and consequently also the number of required journalists. The purpose of the media in Suriname is first to make profit and second to inform people. The news is seen as a profit center, but the media are not competitive, and all stations broadcast similar stories. Television news broadcasts are sponsored by companies, and therefore no negative news is reported about those companies. 
The media lack objectivity. The country has so many political parties (20) and ethnic groups that it is difficult for media outlets to be objective, because they are afraid of offending interest groups. In general, media owners are more loyal than objective, because they have their own political policy. Some journalists are unable to obtain interviews from certain authorities because they work for a media organization opposed to the government. 
Ethical journalism standards in Suriname have been declining. Journalism is threatened by political and commercial interests, media ownership, and unprofessional conduct. According to the 2011 Country Report on Human Rights Practices by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, little investigative journalism takes place and some journalists practice self-censorship due to pressure and intimidation from government officials. The self-censorship is due to a history of intimidation and reprisals by elements of the former military leadership or in response to pressure by senior government officials and important community leaders on journalists who publish negative stories about the administration. Coverage of certain issues, such as drug trafficking and the human rights abuses that took place under the Bouterse dictatorship in the 1980s, are also discouraged (UNHCR, 2011). 
Because of the poor media performance and bad journalism practice in Suriname this project proposal seeks funding to support the development and implementation of a one year training program for active journalists working at all forms of media (newspaper, television, radio, magazines and online news sites). The training will include: media ethics; journalism (investigative, radio, television, newspaper, online journalism); language proficiency and mass communication. The training will: help build awareness of media’s potential in fostering democracy and human rights, equip journalists to report the perspectives of marginalized groups; equip journalists with investigative reporting skills and related disciplinary knowledge and cover journalism ethics and risk awareness. Several technical equipment is needed to be able to conduct the training. This equipment is included in the budget. The equipment will be used in current and future training. All media will be supported and strengthened by this project (radio, television, newspaper, magazine, online news sites). 

Full project description: 
Project details
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Beneficiary name: 
Journalism Department of the Academy of Higher Arts and Cultural Education/Foundation for the Promotion of Journalism in Suriname (SBJS)
Beneficiary description: 

The activities will be initiated and carried out by Foundation for the Promotion of Journalism in Suriname (SBJS). The foundation was established on the 14th of May 2008 and is formed through a partnership with AHKCO, the Surinamese Union of Journalists (SVJ) and the Union of Radio and Television Station (VRTS), an association of media organizations which is a unique public/private cooperation bond (public private partnership). The mission of SBJS is to promote high quality journalism in Suriname. One NGO form is submitted with this project proposal. 

Beneficiary address: 
Stadionlaan 3, Paramaribo

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Beneficiary phone: 
(597)520843 /863-3733
Location and contacts

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Jane Kolf Bergraaf, Chairperson: stichtingbjs@yahoo.com / janebergraaf@hotmail.com

Project place: 
Stadionlaan 3, Paramaribo, Suriname