By Nelson Graves

News-Decoder has a new home — and legal guardians.

The spanking new abode is Now we can properly showcase work by correspondents and contributors, including bright, young adults from around the world.

From the start our plan has been to build a public website with writing, photos, videos, graphics and audio touching on big international issues. If you browse through, you’ll see articles on subjects from Cuba to China, Washington to Tehran.


Announcement of the creation of News-Decoder’s parent not-for-profit in France’s Journal Officiel.

Big thanks to Laura Trumbull for creating the website. She gave selflessly of her time and skills to help News-Decoder take this important step that puts our content under our own roof.

At News-Decoder, we won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This website is a beta version that allows us to raise our profile and move forward.

But we know it’s not perfect and will need improvement, and we encourage you to send your comments and suggestions. Don’t worry — we have thick skins.

New Legal Framework

News-Decoder also has a new parent — the not-for-profit “Nouvelles-Découvertes.”

Nouvelles-Découvertes is the name of the French association, or not-for-profit, that provides a legal framework for our work. Its statutes, recently submitted to the Paris préfecture, reflect our mission to inform young people around the world about international relations “with tolerance, objectivity and broad vision.”

Through its parent association, News-Decoder now has legal grounding and a board of directors who will guarantee accountability.

As donors to our crowd-funding campaign know, one of my objectives since the successful conclusion of the appeal has been to show how our donors’ dollars are being spent in the pursuit of our mission. We can now do that.

The board will also provide guidance as we take important operational decisions in coming months. Supporters will be invited to join Nouvelles-Découvertes — more on that later.

(“Nouvelles-Découvertes” can mean either “new discoveries” or “news discovered” — both consistent with News-Decoder’s mission. And the initials of both the parent not-for-profit and News-Decoder — “N-D” — are the same.)

Global Perspective

So who is on the governing board? Three outstanding individuals join me:

Robert Holloway — Robert is a British-born French citizen who has been with AFP since 1988. His postings confirm his international bona fides: Sydney bureau chief, foreign editor, head of the English desk in Paris, UN correspondent in New York, deputy managing editor and acting editor in chief. In 2007, he set up the AFP Foundation, the agency’s not-for-profit training arm, and has been director since. Before joining AFP, Robert worked as a journalist in Lebanon and Cairo.

Nancy Merritt Asthalter — Nancy is a former professor of American History at the University of Paris. A U.S. citizen and long-time resident of France, Nancy served for two years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Togo. She is co-founder of the Mission Interuniversitaire des Échanges entre la France et l’Amérique (MICEFA), a consortium of universities in Paris, and currently director of MICEFA Medical Exchanges. She is on the board of the International Communications Center, affiliated with the American University of Paris.

Jo Weir — Jo directs media development projects and training globally for DMA Media, Europe’s largest independent media training company. During a 25-year career in media development, Jo, who is Canadian, has managed training programs in more than 85 countries and worked with local journalists to set up news platforms in Egypt, Iraq and Zimbabwe. Between 1989 and 2014 she worked with the Reuters Foundation and its successor, the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Please consider following our website by clicking on the link at the bottom of our home page. And don’t hesitate to offer your feedback. You can always write to me at

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