Agence France-Presse, the international news agency, has launched the AFP Foundation with the goal to train journalists in developing countries and help humanitarian groups and other enterprises with media training.
The foundation will work to promote higher standards of journalism around the world. The AFP foundation will provide training services and educational materials for schools and universities, as well as organize seminars on press freedom and other media issues.
The mission is bold: The AFP vows not merely to end dangerous conditions for journalists, reporters and photographers, but to reduce poverty and other world crises through independent and responsible media. But yet, their site fails to promote any online courses or downloadable educational resources.
The site supposedly offers services in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, but it is extremely text heavy and hard to navigate. I can't help but wonder how the AFP will tackle the huge global issues like poverty if it can't master an efficient and user-friendly site.
Harsh, perhaps, but valid nonetheless, when you consider that the AFP news site itself offers a succinct and intuitive design.
I admire the foundation's gumption for taking on such lofty goals, but would strongly suggest it look at ways to tap into ever-evolving and successful world of online training.
The Web, after all, defies boundaries. For journalists near and far, it is the marketplace where their services can have the greatest impact.