Media Development, Press Freedom & Informed Societies

The job of media development professionals used to be that of training journalists in the skills of the profession. Now that is just one small piece of our job. The challenges now include:

  • Working with media organizations to navigate the digital transition, sever dependence on government funding, and implement new paths to sustainability; 
  • Developing tools to identify and counter the mis‐ and dis‐information that undermines journalism and threatens the health and democratic well‐being of societies; 
  • Building strategies to create informed citizens who are critical consumers of information; 
  • Supporting regulatory reforms that protect free speech and independent journalism, and democratize internet access, not limit it; 
  • Fostering innovative media startups; and, 
  • Helping civil society harness digital technologies to enhance political engagement. 

These are just some of the tasks that must be tackled in partnership with foundations, governments, international NGOs, the UN and other trans-border governance bodies, and – most importantly – with local journalists, civil society representatives and governments in the countries in which we operate.


Lawrence Pintak has designed and managed media development projects in the Middle East, South Asia, the Caucasus, and Africa supported by more than $10 million in grant funding. 

He spent a decade as advisor to the U.S. State Department on Pakistan’s Centre for Excellence in Journalism, which was the second-largest U.S. government public diplomacy project in the world at the time. He directed the Adham Center for Journalism at the American University in Cairo in the years leading up to the Arab Spring, overseeing programs that trained thousands of Arab journalists. As dean of the Graduate School of Communications at Aga Khan University, he launched Africa’s first executive master’s degree in media innovation and leadership, serving the top media executives in four East African countries. Pintak has consulted for, or partnered with, major media development organizations such as Internews, IREX, ICFJ, and DWA, and served on advisory committees for the Knight International Fellows program, the Arab Broadcast Forum, Freedom House's Freedom of the Press report, and various others. 

Project Partnerships

Pintak is available to work as an independent consultant or join larger initiatives. In addition, his extensive global network allows him to build bespoke teams most relevant to the specific needs of the project, bringing together individuals with skills in a variety of fields – from newsroom transformation to CivicTech to media law – and the right geographic, language and cultural experience.

Supporting the News Industry, Civil Society, and Media Development Organizations

  • Media financial sustainability strategies
  • Media Innovation
  • Newsroom transformation and management
  • Multiplatform transition training
  • Journalistic, social media, and digital skills training
  • Mobile technology for journalists and civil society
  • Armed conflict training and journalism safety
  • Media literacy
  • Media legal environment
  • Media-civil society dialogue
  • Civil society communications training
  • Press freedom initiatives
  • Gender-sensitive reporting; gender in the newsroom
  • Research and policy development
  • International partnership development
  • Media landscape mapping
  • Needs assessments
  • Program evaluation 
  • Journalism curriculum development
  • Program design, planning and management

The Covid pandemic has exacerbated the existing challenges of digital disruption in news gathering and distribution, radically changing business models. Pintak and his team are ready to help individual news organizations navigate digital and economic change:

  • Strategic support for newsroom digital transformation 
  • Training editors and reporters/producers to operate in a multi-platform environment
  • Evaluation of existing and potential business models
  • Workflow strategies for the new “distributed” newsroom in which staff work remotely
  • Approaches to bolstering the role of women in news organizations
  • Basic and advanced journalism skills training