The success of the Unesco Media Pressure Cooker Marathon

From 19-21 January 2017 the first Pressure Cooker Marathon took place at the University of Aruba. 30 Aruban journalists, scholars and young talents participated in work sessions, live broadcasts and trainings guided by lecturers such as Jeroen Pauw and colleagues Dick Drayer and Favell Maduro from neighboring island Curaçao.

The National Commission of Aruba for UNESCO wished to work on Media Development in Aruba and approached media researcher Birgit Kreykenbohm to submit a proposal, based on the Media Development projects in Curacao. She asked Renske Pin, media researcher in Curacao, to join the team. The proposed Media Development Programme for Aruba was granted and the Pressure Cooker Marathon was born.

Project aim:

  • Quick scan of the Aruban media landscape
  • Training, discussion & empowerment
  • Tangible product: multimedia online publication
  • Media literacy: creating public awareness
  • Cross-pollination between the islands

In a collaborative effort, local and international journalists and scholars reciprocally increased and enhanced their expertise by combining academic research and data and journalistic storytelling. The professional capacity building of and dialogue between the Aruban journalistic and academic field resulted in a multimedia quick-scan of the media landscape of Aruba. With the launch of the online publication on February 15th, the participants created a knowledge platform for ongoing dialogue about media development in the Small Island Developing State of Aruba. The long read is accessible for the Public, and aspires to have an impact on the level of media wisdom of Aruban citizens, government and politics and commercial parties and shows how the media in Aruba contribute to the functioning of democracy.


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Participants of the Unesco Media pressure cooker in Aruba tell about their experience with the media.