2020 annual report

FEBRUARY 3, 2021

Dear reader,

2020 was
a wicked,
wild year.

It was also a good year for diversity in journalism.

The pandemic effectively halted parachute journalism, the brand of foreign correspondence that drops outsiders into global communities just long enough to perpetuate single-note narratives of war and poverty.

In its place, local journalists across the globe rose to provide nuanced, insightful coverage of a rapidly changing world.

Under the coalescing crises of public health and systemic racism, more readers began to question systems of power, including those that have long relegated diverse voices in journalism. With new awareness of who is telling the world’s stories, readers flocked to Global Press Journal. We saw record readership across 191 countries in 2020. 

For the last 15 years, Global Press has demonstrated that people everywhere are better informed when local journalists with context and access tell accurate, nuanced stories. 2020 emphasized the necessity of our mission: to train and employ professional female journalists in the world’s least-covered places.

Few things were left unchanged by the turbulent 12 months of 2020. So, our annual report looks different this year too. As you scroll through, you’ll learn how our award-winning Duty of Care program kept our journalists safe and healthy. You’ll see how our style guide, which is rooted in the principles of dignity and precision, influenced hundreds of American journalists during a summer of racial justice protests.

And we’ll look ahead, to share bold plans for our work in a changed world.

Cristi Hegranes
CEO, Global Press
Publisher, Global Press Journal

Photos above by Ishbel Cora Rodríguez, Global Press Journal Puerto Rico; Avigaí Silva, Global Press Journal Mexico; Khorloo Khukhnohoi, Global Press Journal Mongolia; Vimbai Chinembiri, Global Press Journal Zimbabwe

section 1: global reach

The world turned to Global Press Journal in 2020.

Readers came from 191 countries.

Our largest audiences are in the United States and Global Press Journal bureau locations.

Growing Audiences
Largest Audiences

Global Press Journal received powerful acclaim for its work in 2020.

Media Hero of the Year, The Stevie Awards
"Awarded to Global Press Journal’s all-female reporting team for its exceptional, interconnected coverage of the world during the pandemic."
Refugee Reporting Award, One World Media
Shortlisted: Merveille Kavira Lungehe’s “I Will Not Leave This Place: Refusing to Become a Refugee and Other Reflections From the Heart of Congo’s Ongoing Conflict.” The awards highlight stories that break through stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures.
Award of Excellence, Society for News Design
Awarded to Global Press Journal for its special coverage of the ongoing conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo, this award honors journalism that pushes the boundaries of design and technology.
Best News Website, Vega Awards
Awarded to Global Press Journal, this international media award recognizes excellence in digital media.
Clarion Awards (Best Online Feature, Best Online Feature, Best Speciality Print Publication)
Global Press Journal won three Clarion Awards in 2020: a best of online feature journalism prize awarded to Gamuchirai Masiyiwa for her illustrated story depicting Zimbabwe’s ongoing currency crisis; a best of online feature journalism prize awarded to Merveille Kavira Lungehe for her first-person, historical narrative about DRC’s refugee crisis; and a special print communication prize awarded to Katie Myrick, Global Press creative director for her design of the 2019 annual report.

section 2: duty of care

Global Press was well prepared for the challenges of 2020.

Duty of Care is our holistic safety and security program, designed to serve our unique network of female journalists who live in the communities they cover.

For these journalists, extraction is never an option. Local journalists require a robust and inclusive security methodology that prioritizes the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, digital and legal security. At Global Press, the safety of our reporters is central to our work.

From situational awareness and emergency first aid to comprehensive travel and communication policies, Duty of Care prioritizes our reporters’ physical well-being.
From understanding mental models to stress-based decision-making skills and the on-call Global Press Wellness Network, Duty of Care prioritizes our reporters’ emotional health.
Digital security toolkits for high- and low-tech environments are essential to ensuring that reporters and their sources stay safe.
Understanding constitutions and penal codes is a Duty of Care priority, to ensure that journalists know their rights while reporting and after publication.

Global Press Journal reporters confronted barriers to information and safe reporting access.




had freedom of movement restricted, despite being labeled essential workers


had freedom of movement restricted because reporters were not labeled essential workers


experienced lack of transportation (closed roads, public transportation shut down)


suspected exposure to COVID-19 while reporting, later tested negative


were exposed
to other contagious diseases


were harassed
while reporting


were injured
while reporting


tested positive
for COVID-19

We’re working to normalize conversations about stress, anxiety and trauma in newsrooms.

Global Press Journal reporters experienced stress and anxiety as isolation took its toll.

Throughout the year, we invested in the Global Press Wellness Network, an international team of mental health practitioners who serve our reporters with unlimited sessions, on demand.


of Global Press Journal reporters say they plan to use the Wellness Network in 2021, compared to 45% in 2019.

Global Press was awarded the Chester M. Pierce Human Rights Award from American Psychiatric Association in recognition of our Duty of Care program and its “extraordinary efforts to prioritize the mental health of journalists around the world.”

With reporters on lockdown, our global team of illustrators brought Global Press Journal stories to life. (Illustration by Zoe van Dijk for Global Press Journal)

Our reporters’ safety was our top priority.

Global Press Institute, the training division of Global Press, implemented a training in lockdown program, offering our reporters around the world the opportunity for intermediate and advanced professional development while mandated to stay at home.

Reporters and members of the Global Press Accuracy Network in various virtual trainings.

Global Press Journal reporters spent
2,015 hours in training while in lockdown.

Reporters had this to say about their trainings during lockdown:

“The adjustments made me feel safe, l could continue with my work, gain new professional skills while enhancing the old skills. l felt like Global Press was valuing my safety above anything else.”

Reporters had this to say about their training experience:

“[The trainings] made me feel safer and gave me a sense of job security. Mentally they made me stronger and grateful seeing all that was happening around me.”

Reporters had this to say about their training experience:

“I felt the care that the organization has for its employees. The trainings benefited us as reporters and made sure we kept in touch with our reporting.”

Training highlights included master classes in fact checking and photojournalism and a newly created workshop on reporting climate vulnerabilities, designed in partnership with The Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Amrita Jaisi, Global Press Institute Nepal Trainee, February 2020

As the pandemic erupted, a new class of trainees in Nepal was just halfway through our 16-week training program, The Principles & The Practice. The Nepal launch and all future bureau expansions remain on hold.

section 3: dignity & precision

People worldwide felt the ripples of the racial justice movement.

From Haiti to Uganda, the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis ignited new conversations about racial justice and colonial histories.

Woodly Caymitte works on a sculpture of George Floyd in Carrefour Feuilles, Haiti. (Marie Michelle Felicien, Global Press Journal Haiti)

The Global Press Style Guide establishes rules for referring to the people and places where our reporters work. Each entry is intentionally crafted to promote dignity and precision in international journalism.

From the Global Press Style Guide


Rule: Use precise references to a source’s ancestry when relevant to a story’s news value.

Do not conflate race with skin color or nationality. Instead, allow sources to self-identify. Capitalize skin color according to source preference. For general references to groups of people do not default to capitalization, use standard grammar rules for nouns and adjectives

Rationale: Precise references to diverse source identities promote reader clarity and source dignity

Read more entries

Journalists turned to the Global Press Style Guide as they reached for words to describe racial justice protests.

In collaboration with The Poynter Institute, one of the world’s premier journalism institutions, Global Press hosted a webinar for more than 1,000 journalists and editors on the topic of writing about race with dignity and precision.

Since the webinar, dozens of newsrooms have adopted use of the Global Press Style Guide.

Our reporters covered the global implications of the racial justice movement in the United States.

Senior Reporter Nakisanze Segawa wrote about Ugandans who, galvanized by George Floyd's murder, sought to rename public spaces that honor the country's colonial rulers. There is a growing push to rename these public spaces to honor accomplished Ugandans.

Read the article

More coverage about countries reckoning with their colonial pasts:

Before colonialist Cecil John Rhodes died, he asked to be buried in Zimbabwe’s sacred Matobo Hills. Local people are renewing the debate over whether the polarizing politician deserves to stay.

read more by Vimbai Chinembiri

Uganda’s rural schools are turning away from English-only instruction as mother-tongue language learning grows in popularity. But the practice faces bigger hurdles in urban classrooms.

Read more by Beatrice Lamwaka

section 4: diversity in focus

At Global Press, local journalists have always played a powerful role in creating ethical, accurate narratives of the world.

Global Press hires female reporters from diverse backgrounds to ensure access to diverse sources, nuanced story angles and meaningful context. This contributes to a comprehensive narrative of places often minimized to rote stereotypes of war, poverty, disaster and disease.


Black, African 44%
Asian 27%
Latin American 27%
Black, Other 2%


White 45%
Black 40%
Asian 15%

Global Press Accuracy Network

White 47%
Asian 26%
Black 17%
Hispanic 10%

Global Leadership

White 35%
Hispanic 28%
Asian 28%
Black 9%

* Represents Global Press team members in 2020, according to a self-reported diversity survey.

Diverse reporters talk to diverse sources. Together, they tell inclusive stories. 

Mainstream coverage of COVID-19 lacked gender diversity. Our reporting of the pandemic showcased our commitment to diversity.


Female sources


Female experts


Local experts

Global Press Journal reporters prioritize local experts who have proximity to issues and offer accurate local context.

* Data from Global Press Journal stories about the pandemic in 2020

Global Press prioritizes geographic diversity, too.

Jeremiah Gwate washes his hands at the gate to his homestead in Gungwe, Zimbabwe. (Fortune Moyo, Global Press Journal Zimbabwe)

Tania Hernández wears a mask she bought at the “Vive Latino” music festival in March in Mexico City. (Mar García, Global Press Journal Mexico)

Too often, global news is only reported from major metropolitan areas. Global Press has established independent news bureaus across four continents, offering comprehensive coverage from more than 40 cities, towns and rural areas. 

Number of bureaus by area population

Population Under 100,000
Population 100,000 - 250,000
Population 250,000 - 500,000
Population 500,000 - 1,000,000
Population 1,000,000 - 5,000,000
Population Over 5,000,000

section 5: Funding Challenges

The nonprofit industry faced a collective obstacle in 2020: funding.

Global Press, like many organizations, struggled in the spring and summer as markets crashed and donor priorities shifted. In May, we revised our annual budget goal from $4 million  to $3 million. 

But throughout the year, donors and partners recognized the powerful reporting and unique impact Global Press was having in a difficult collective moment. We ended 2020 just shy of our original goal.

As we enter another uncertain year, we’re working to regain pre-pandemic projections.

Profound gratitude to our robust network of supporters.

Global Press also received contributions from more than 600 individuals, from readers to board members.

$250,000 and above
Emerson Collective
Fondacion CHANEL
Hewlett Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
Open Square Foundation
Yellow Chair Foundation

$100,000 - $249,999
Anne and Greg Avis
Emily Kaiser and Gene Bulmash
Humanity United
Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

$50,000 - $99,000
Channel Foundation
U.S. Charitable Gift Trust

$5,000 - $49,000
Auriga Foundation
Cloud Mountain Foundation
Dan and Gail Austin
First Dollar Foundation
George Kaiser Family Foundation
Michelle Swenson and Stan Drobac
Mize Family Foundation
Seattle Foundation
Simone Otus Coxe 
Stewart R. Mott Foundation
Taube Family Philanthropies
Tecovas Foundation

section 6: Focus Forward

This year promises more uncertainty. But we are prepared. We will use what we learned in 2020 to bring you even more unique, consequential news.

This year, Global Press celebrates its 15th anniversary.

This milestone is particularly meaningful as our commitment to dignity, diversity, transparency and excellence resonates with a growing audience.

Since 2006:

More than
female journalists trained
More than
independent news bureaus established
More than
stories published
More than
regular readers

Here’s how we’ll continue our bold mission in a changed world:

Photo by Dolgormaa Sandagdorj, Global Press Journal Mongolia

Adapting Global Press Institute training programs for a virtual world

Global Press Institute has conducted in-person training around the world since 2006. We’re working to virtualize our award-winning Duty of Care and other training programs to ensure our reporters have access to powerful learning opportunities when we can’t be together in person.

global press institute

Photo by Françoise Mbuyi Mutombo, Global Press Journal DRC

Producing more ethical, accurate news from around the world

Our reporters and a bigger-than-ever team of expert editors will bring you even more stories in 2021. Don’t miss the all-new Global Press Journal, whose homepage features new cross-border curations of resonant topics like climate, civil unrest and health care innovation.

global press journal

Photo by Ena Aguilar Peláez, Global Press Journal Mexico

Diversifying revenue streams to bolster our sustainability

Global Press News Services now offers all-new products and services. From Duty of Care consultations to customized style guide scans and workshops, we’re bringing the best of Global Press to other organizations around the world.

global press news services

Photo by Myagmarsuren Battur, 
Global Press Journal Mongolia

Serving and studying our growing global audience

From building Global Press Journal sites in French and Spanish to growing our syndication network, we’ll serve even more readers in 2021. And we’ll study them too. We’ll dig into audience research to study trust and biases toward news produced by women of color.

global press journal

Thank you for making Global Press Journal a staple part of your news diet in 2020. Thank you for valuing diversity in journalism and understanding the pivotal role local reporters play in helping us understand the world – and our place in it. 

Thank you for supporting Global Press
in 2021.

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