Index World Press Photo
January 2006 | Edition Three     

World Press Photo is only as strong as its partner organisations who co-operate worldwide in organizing and operating seminars and other activities.

In Growing Together for this issue we take a look at how three of these partners go about raising money for their own programs, both academic and cultural. None is finding it easy.

Like many similar originations, the Macedonian Institute for Media is finding it difficult to secure funding.

After a period when money was much more available – when the world's eyes and pocketbooks were on the Balkans during and immediately after the Kosovo crisis - MIM, as its known, has now lost about 20 per cent of its income. However, as executive director Zaneta Trajkoska told Enter from the Macedonian capital Skopje: “We are a stubborn people. When one door closes, we look for another to open”.

Formed with Danish and American partners in 2000 and launched officially a year later, MIM provides training and developmental programs for media professionals from one- day workshops to nine-month courses.

The financial position is made more difficult because as the foundation's activities grow, donations are decreasing.

“We are managing things though. Costs are being kept under control as we look for more donors,” says Zaneta.

Much of the current funding comes from government and non-governmental institutions, as well as some media outlets who work in the country.

The organisation is also making some money from commercial activities – organizing trips for foreign producers in the country, producing weekly broadcast material for Radio Free Europe and renting out some of their facilities.

They are also charging participants a fee for a one-year diploma program in journalism but it is only around 10% of the real cost per student.

One hope for the future is that money from the European Union may start to flow, says Zaneta.

Macedonia is now a candidate country and hopes to join the Union before the end of the decade when funds from Brussels should become available.

Although it is halfway round the world from Macedonia, the Centra De La Fotografia in Lima, Perus's capital, faces similar challenges raising finance.

Accoridng to the director, Roberto Huarcaya, the seven-year-old center is a “private institution dedicated to the education of young photographers and to the promotion of the visual arts.”

Three options are offered: a three-year, career-orientated program for aspiring professionals, a nine-month technical course and a selection of workshops for photo hobbyists.

The academic activities, says Roberto, are financed entirely through student fees and it has taken four years to achieve this break-even position. However, it is difficult to find enough students able to pay – the center is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive in Peru.

“So we have established a scholarship system to help people with lower incomes and, starting this semester, we are implementing a scale of fees depending on the family income,” says Roberto.

For the cultural side – artistic and cultural projects related to photography – money is raised in the form of donations from “promoters” and exhibition sponsors.

“Money from our private sponsors or patrons covers only part of our cultural activities so it is necessary to look for other sponsors - companies - on a monthly basis to cover operating costs,” continues Roberto.

“This is very hard and does not always happen. These people do not expect anything in return, but we keep them informed of all our activities and how their funds are being used.”

When possible, concludes Roberto, the center organizes cultural activities on its premises photographic contests for other institutions to raise an additional income.

The Nigerian Institute of Journalism has one big advantage over many similar organizations – it owns its own land on which no rent is due.

The school, one of two in Africa – the other being in Nairobi, Kenya – started in the early 1960s at the time of the civil war in the country.

Following a recommendation by the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Guild of Editors and the Nigerian Union of Journalists, it became the Nigerian Institute of Journalism in 1971.

Then its first chair, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the governor of Lagos state, gave the land on which the school stands.

The institute was closed for about four years, up until 2004, because of a disagreement about the status of the institute and its programmes.

However, the disagreement was settled with the launch of two new qualifications - the National Diploma and the Higher National Diploma in Communication.

At present, photojournalism is one element of the journalism course being offered by the institute but plans are being made for a proficiency certificate in photojournalism with World Press Photo.

Just over half the institute's income comes from tuition fees with another ten per cent from income generating activities – letting out facilities for seminars, workshops and conferences.

A football field is rented by secondary and primary schools in the area and the library also generates some external income. There are occasional donors but no government funding.

The rest has to be raised from corporate partners and individuals and Provost Elizabeth Ikem says that this is hard work.

"But if you have a good proposal or project and it is viable you must explain it well. If you do that, raising the money is not difficult. But it is not easy either".

Elizabeth agrees that owning its own land is a big plus for the institute.

"The future looks bright," she says.

Students on the Macedonian Institute for Media One Year Diploma in Journalism course get some practical experience

Learning studio techniques on the Macedonian Institute for Media One Year Diploma in Journalism

Darkroom activity at the Centro De La Fotografia in Lima

Working at the computer at the Centro De La Fotografia

Copyright © 2006, all rights reserved by the photographers