Image: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The ambulance leaves before a proper goodbye. As I pack up some clothes, a toothbrush, his phone and charger, the paramedics help my partner into the ambulance. Their protective wear makes me think of that professor cooking cocaine in Breaking Bad. Just breathe, I tell myself. You got this. What…


This International Women’s Day, give men space to be advocates too.

Photo by King Lip on Unsplash

Is storytelling a gendered affair? Are we truly open to the participation of men in the fight for women’s rights?

As a woman who has been working in media for many years and in human rights content in particular, I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by feminist men…


As governments struggle in response to COVID-19, long-term investments in global media are needed to keep people safe and newsrooms healthy.

Newspapers are seen covering a window behind a closed shutter of a bar during the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Journalism is in a rough place. As the world relies more heavily on independent fact-based health information due to the pandemic, journalists everywhere are under increased pressure and in the line of fire, and not just figuratively speaking.

Global independent media find themselves in the vulnerable position of waiting for…


Photo by author.

Kindness is not weakness. When will you learn?

Being kind does not mean saying yes to everything. Instead, kindness is setting and keeping boundaries with an intention and approach of empathy towards the other using non-violent communications.

When will you learn?

I was deputy director at 29, executive director at…


Image created by Daniel Barreto. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives, help stop the spread of COVID-19. Via Unsplash.

The benefits of empathic leadership during a time of crisis

Even through the bushes that are still partly bare due to the last remainder of what winter brought, I can tell she feels a bit uneasy about it all. Her body language being more nervous than usual with raised shoulders and a soft giggle. The conversations between myself and my…


“Knock Knock! Hello Free World! … Can you hear us?” These words are part of a tweet by Iranian freelance journalist Mohammad Mosaed that got him arrested Nov. 22 in Iran.

To publish this tweet, he used 42 different proxy servers to access the internet during a nationwide shutdown imposed…


May 2, 2019 at 7:33 pm

It was early spring 2008 when I first encountered the beauty and complexities of the country of the thousand hills, Rwanda. From the muddy red roads swirling through green hills into the more urban center of Kigali, I noticed purple flags waving in the…


February 19, 2019 at 11:59 am

It is safe to say that there has been some commotion in the Iranian diaspora media scene over the past years: changes in editorial leadership, the emergence of rich television stations, tensions over renewed budgets and journalists hopping between media outlets. All of this…

Rieneke Van Santen

Media & Journalism Professional. Fierce Feminine Leadership Advocate. Cares about Human Rights. Figuring out Motherhood.

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