About - U2Media
U2Media about Abi Daruvalla

Connecting with people is what I do. It’s what I did as a journalist and what I do now as a trainer, editor and translator.

Abi Daruvalla

About Abi

I was one of those irritating children who constantly asked why? This, alongside a burning desire to change the world, was the reason I became a journalist.

I began my career in Britain but moved to the Netherlands in 1979 and have worked for a variety of news organisations including Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, the Dutch news agency ANP and Het Financieele Dagblad. I was also co-founder of the independent news site Dutchnews.nl and co-author of A Dictionary of Dutchness.

Journalist to trainer

My transition into training was gradual. With the emergence of internet, the need to maintain and develop the basic values of journalism seemed as important to me as investing in new tech.

From 2005 to 2015 I was (part time) course leader for the Dutch World Service’s training centre (RNTC), coordinating, designing and delivering various courses such as online journalism, training of trainers and multimedia journalism for development issues. I worked both in Hilversum (the Netherlands) and in developing countries in Asia, Africa and eastern Europe.

International media training

In 2001 I set up U2Media to expand my work into media training – after more than 25 years as a journalist, I was frustrated by how little people understood about the media. I train communication professionals on how to handle the international media, pitch stories, cope with crisis situations and how to write effective web text.

I have given media training to a wide range of professionals and have been ‘in-house’ media trainer for the European Space Agency for almost 20 years.


My workshops take me around the world which has made me adaptable and able to work with different cultures and in all sorts of environments – from China to Zambia and from Moldova to Uzbekistan. I also give training in countries closer to home such as France, Germany and, of course, the Netherlands where I am based.

I have worked on training projects for international organisations including Unicef and the Council of Europe. From 2014 to 2019 I was involved in a comprehensive capacity building project for the Syrian media sector with Free Press Unlimited.

Multicultural communication skills

In 2018/2019 I developed and supervised the teaching of a new module on professional (multicultural) communication skills for international Master’s students at the University of Amsterdam.

I am an active board member of the Dutch government’s Fund for In-Depth Journalism which supports journalists in terms of talent development and story subsidies.

Born in Britain, I have Indian roots – but my heart is in Amsterdam where I have lived since 1979 and I now have Dutch nationality.

Want to know more?

I am happy to share more information about the projects I have worked on – send me a mail (abi@u2media.org) or give me a call (+31-(0)6 520 66499).