5. Mission statement & vision

Section 5 of the GFMD 2021-2025 draft strategic plan: GFMD's mission statement & vision for 2021-2025 (or next 10 years).

In order to ensure that GFMD remains relevant and that its services are properly targeted, the organisation’s core activities must be closely aligned to “zeitgeist” issues that affect media practitioners and the wider media industry.

Consequently, GFMD adopts a participatory, consultative approach in its dealings with both internal and external stakeholders.

These consultations have helped to identify and expound the following priorities:

Providing value to our members

GFMD needs to continue demonstrating its value as a network that can offer concrete benefits to its members.

This is essential in maintaining and broadening the community of best practices that it has established.

It also boosts GFMD’s credibility and role as a catalyst for innovation within this community.

Part of the process involves an emphasis on responding to perceived needs and researching findings.

Amplifying Southern voices

GFMD has prioritised amplifying the voices of Southern actors in policy debates, thereby addressing concerns that the agenda is dominated by large international agencies based in the North.

GFMD recognises that local organisations often have a better insight into the immediate needs of media communities as well as a clearer idea of the possible barriers to success.

GFMD is also committed to improving its business-winning skills, thereby shifting what has been described as “the balance of power” in this sector.[8]

Embody the diversity and variety of media worldwide

GFMD will seek to embody the diversity and variety of media worldwide, both by ensuring a broad geographical spread within its membership and by gaining a better understanding of the challenges faced by development actors in multiple environments.

This will serve to inform and enrich best practice models on a global level.

Common standards and approaches

There is a perceived need to converge towards common standards and approaches, particularly when it comes to measuring impact and sharing results across the community.

GFMD is working closely with international partners to develop an online Resource Centre which will capture the work of various stakeholders seeking to improve the quantity and quality of rigorous, independent research on the impact of media assistance.

Established under the umbrella of the GFMD website, the Centre will include a searchable database of reports, studies, statistics and external evaluations as well as tools developed by different agencies for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Further build capacity and capabilities of the Secretariat

GFMD will source funding to expand the size, reach and capabilities of its Secretariat.

The secretariat plays an essential role in ensuring high levels of engagement amongst members as well as between members and external stakeholders.

Definition and goals of GFMD in the new constitution

In the new GFMD Constitution (which members are voting on ahead of the 2021 General Assembly, GFMD's definition and goals are defined as follows:


1.1 Definition and goals

The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) is a voluntary network of journalism support, media freedom, and media development set up to promote, support and highlight the importance of free, independent, pluralistic and viable media and (public interest) journalism in the pursuit of democracy, human rights and sustainable development.

The GFMD network develops and promotes policies, programmes, strategies and opportunities for the work of the journalism and media support sector to enhance journalism as a public good through undertaking and enabling: long-term, sustained engagement; collective action by its members; visibility and access to policymakers; capacity building and other long-term benefits and added value for its members, their partners and the media sector overall.

1.2 Scope of work

For purposes of this Constitution, references to the “journalism and media support sector”, whether that refers to GFMD activities, membership criteria or anything else, shall be understood as encompassing the following types of media development, media freedom and journalism support actions and other actions which are closely related to them:

  • Fostering media sustainability and independence, and providing other forms of support to the media and journalism, whether directly or indirectly, including through policy development and advocacy;

  • Building a strong organisational support network for journalists, media workers and media outlets, comprising both professional associations and other civil society organisations and focusing on a range of areas such as advocacy, workers’ rights and monitoring;

  • Support for an official enabling environment for freedom of expression and media freedom including law and policy reform, capacity building for multiple stakeholders, systems for implementation of relevant laws and policies, strong and independent institutions to underpin media freedom, and a robust infrastructure to support independent journalism and pluralistic media;

  • The provision of professional capacity building for media outlets, journalists and media workers and supporting institutions which provide these capacity building services, whether directly or indirectly;

For purposes of this Constitution, references to the “journalism and media sector” shall be understood as encompassing news media and journalistic organisations.

If your organisation is a general member of GFMD and has not yet voted on the new constitution please contact us. The deadline for voting is 28 September.


This draft strategic plan will be presented for discussion at a special session of the GFMD General Assembly on 1 October 2021. For more details and to find out how to participate see:

page1 October 2021

Last updated