Internews History and Governance

Internews has been working effectively for open media policies for more than three decades, while training and equipping local media in the world’s most troubled regions. Today Internews has worked in more than 90 countries and built a unique network of local journalists, technologists, researchers, activists, lawyers, and trainers, expanding opportunities for open media and independent journalism in parts of the world where they are needed most.

Internews was founded in 1982 by documentary film producer Kim Spencer, CNN television news producer Evelyn Messinger, and political organizer David Hoffman. The three first formed Internews to use the powerful medium of television as a tool to improve US-Soviet relations.

In 1982, Internews produced the first of a series of televised satellite exchanges and went on to produce or contribute to over a dozen more of these “spacebridges.” These culminated in the Capital to Capital series linking Members of the U.S. Congress with Deputies of the Supreme Soviet for live, uncensored conversations on such issues as human rights and arms control. This Emmy award-winning series of seven programs ran from 1987 to 1990 and was moderated by Peter Jennings.

Starting in 1990, with the collapse of the USSR, Internews shifted its focus to the hundreds of small, non-governmental TV and radio stations springing up in East Europe and the former Soviet republics. The Internews model of working with local partners to address the information needs of communities spread into Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. 

Internews continues to work to improve access to information for people around the world by fostering independent media and promoting open communications policies. Internews’ programs are built on the conviction that providing people with access to vibrant, diverse news and information empowers them to make their voices heard and to participate effectively in their communities.

Meet our senior management team and board of directors. Read our recent Impact Report, and see how Internews is funded.