Before starting her own media development consultancy, Michelle Betz worked as a network broadcast news producer and taught broadcast journalism at the university level.
Michelle recently moved to Washington, D.C. after spending the past six years overseas, first in Ghana and then in Cairo, Egypt. Michelle works for numerous organizations and currently is the Director, Media Development for United Press International’s media development arm, UPIu. She has also managed projects in Africa and the Middle East for the International Center for Journalists and was the Regional Media Advisor (Africa) for the Danish NGO International Media Support (IMS).
Her consultancies have taken her to more than twenty African countries as well as Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and European capitals including Paris and Copenhagen.
Michelle is a registered speaker with the U.S. State Department’s Africa Regional Services Speakers Bureau and sits on the advisory committee for the Knight International Journalism Fellowships. She has consulted for UNESCO, International Media Support, International Center for Journalists, Institut Panos Paris, Open Society Insitute, Population Reference Bureau and numerous other organizations.
Michelle has trained journalists in numerous countries both for NGOs as well as U.S. Embassies. Her training work has taken her to Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Morocco and Algeria. Much of the work has dealt with health issues, election reporting and conflict and post-conflict reporting.
Michelle freelances when she can and has filed pieces for CBC Radio, the World Vision Report, National Geographic Traveller and completed a stint as the Africa correspondent for The Green Planet Monitor, a podcast on rabble.ca.
In 2006, Betz, together with a Ghanaian NGO, was awarded a health journalism grant to work with HIV+ women and Ghanaian journalists to produce radio diaries. UNESCO funded a similar project in the Great Lakes thanks to a proposal Michelle put together.
Michelle’s professional experience includes segment producing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the network television morning show. She also assisted with the coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway and worked in the London bureau of Canadian Television (CTV).
Michelle has also conducted training for National Public Radio’s Next Generation Radio Project, the Voice of America, the Center for Development Communication (United Nations Population Fund) and WORL Radio.
In 2002, Michelle was awarded the Excellence in Journalism Education Fellowship by RTNDF and in 2003 was awarded a Knight International Press Fellowship and spent four months working in Rwanda. Michelle was awarded a second Knight International Press Fellowship and spent five months in 2005 in Morocco training journalists in both Morocco and Algeria.
While teaching at the University of Central Florida she launched and advised the award-winning student-run radio station WNSC (now WGKN).
Betz specializes in the role of the media in international conflict and conflict resolution. For more on where I am and what I’m doing check out my blog.