How “Insiders and Outsiders” Perceive Media Development Work. Reflections on Their Relationship and Cooperation.


  • Mira Keßler Ruhr-Universität Bochum



media development work, critical reflections, trust, (in)equality, in- and outsider's perspective, South-Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa


It appears to be essential to reflect different perspectives for doing media development work in contexts where foreign actors are not insiders. Here, their outside views on the needs of supported countries and on how to work together can be difficult for implementing projects, especially for actors on-site on which this article focuses. It aims to bring practical and academic reflections together for a broader understanding of how insiders and outsiders perceive media development work differently. These different perceptions bring challenges to their relationship and cooperation. Based on the author’s research, a literature review, and interviews with practitioners from south-Asian media organizations, critical aspects will be discussed, such as cooperation dynamics, the effect of power inequalities, and subsequent trust difficulties. The article will not only give the perspective of actors on-site and their struggles with media development “cooperation,” but also suggest constructive approaches to work on an eye-level with mutual understanding.

Author Biography

Mira Keßler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Mira Keßler is a PhD student at the Graduate School MEDAS21 – Media Development Assistance in the 21st century – funded by Volkswagen-Foundation. Her research examines how individuals in journalism training connect with one another in light of their differences. While conducting her research in Europe, India, and Nepal, Mira seeks to contribute to solving problems of practical relevance. Her research interests include journalism training, teaching, (cross-cultural) communication, postcolonialism, de-westernisation, and qualitative methods. She holds an M.A. in Media Studies from Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen. Mira also worked as a filmmaker, media educator, and journalist. For more information about the author, please follow this link:




How to Cite

Keßler, M. (2022). How “Insiders and Outsiders” Perceive Media Development Work. Reflections on Their Relationship and Cooperation . Global Media Journal - German Edition, 12(1).