The Argentinean journalist Ricardo Grassi is a former Editor in Chief of IPS and has been conducting many media development, journalists and civil society communicators training projects. In recent years he has been the founding executive director of Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), the independent news agency – initiated by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting with USAID funding – that he helped to conceive and build before the planned and successful transition to a fully Afghan management.
He conceived and was the project manager of the European Commission-funded activity led The Killid Group (TKG) and implemented by four Afghan organisations -TKG, PAN, Centre for International Journalism, Sayara Media & Communication- and IPS: 420 active journalists, journalism students and professors in 5 Afghan universities, media managers, and governmental media officers attended specialised training workshops on health care, education, human rights, economic development and reconstruction, rule of law, governance and accountability, and social problems – all of these incorporating equal emphasis on women’s issues.
The trainees produced 156 feature articles and 39 radio programmes (national, regional and local), distributed/broadcasted by Afghan media and IPS. 120,000 copies of four magazines have collected the feature articles and thousands of copies of the radio programmes reached all Afghan radio stations, NGOs, intergovernmental and governmental institutions. 3,000 copies in Dari and Pashto of two updated journalistic training manuals were compiled, printed and distributed. Three of the partners – The Killid Group, Pajhwok Afghan News and IPS- have continued to exchange stories since then. The project culminated in March 2007 “Media Is Development – Afghanistan Media and Civil Society Forum”, which was the first all-Afghan platform for civil society and media to discuss their role, co-organised by IPS and The Killid Media Group.
He contributed to the development of the Afghan media organisation The Killid Group -5 radios and two weeklies. Earlier, as a consultant, he participated in the process aiming to reorganise the Afghan governmental Radio and TV (RTA) and Bakhtar News Agency into independent public media.