JMIC safety coach Abeer Saady led a safety training organized by the organization Unbias the News March 22.: Reporting in a conflict zone – Safety and ethics.
194 people had registered, and 67 people entered the zoom room. Among those registered were 17 from Ukraine and 11 from Russia, informs Unbiasthenews, https://unbiasthenews.org/about-us/
The other participants were from all over the world – especially African and Arab countries. Many asked questions – several had experience from covering the war in Ukraine.
Abeer Saady has previously provided such training to Ukrainian journalists, and is still in contact with some of them. Also after this workshop, she has had contact with participants from Ukraine and Russia, among others.
After a month in the field in Nepal, Bangladesh and different European countries working on individual projects, the students returned for a five day online editing workshop led by Munem Wasif.
The editing process was a part of the International Storytelling project 2022 for the 6 students from photo.circle in Kathmandu, 6 students from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka and 9 students from OsloMet.
The week consisted of lectures on the editing process and different editing exercises. The participants edited and gave feedback to each other in groups.
Berlin-based Barbara Stauss, a photo director and founding member of Mare magazine, gave a lecture on editing work in editorial spaces.
Katrin Koenning gave an engaging and personal artist talk where she shared and explained the various processes of editing in books and exhibitions.
The main questions for the students’ individual editing were:
· What is the story all about?
· Does the edit reflect the idea behind the story?
· Does the edit have enough visual variety or is it repetitive?
· Do you develop any logic for editing it?
The five day workshop ended Friday April 1 with a an online presentation session, where each of the students had to critique another student’s work.
Courage, compassion, and commitment in the face of challenges —these were demonstrated by the women journalists and researchers who shared their stories on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Organized by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) and the Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC) at OsloMet, the online event “Challenges to the Safety of Women Journalists” was moderated by Elisabeth Eide, veteran journalist, writer, and professor of journalism studies. IAWRT president Violet Gonda opened the program, while Oona Solberg of OsloMet delivered the closing remarks.
The discussions revolved around the obstacles women journalists face in different parts of the world, and how they continue to stand up against threats and attacks. The momentous event brought together eleven speakers from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East:
Oleksandra Hrybenko from Ukraine, a PhD student at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at OsloMet in Norway
Inna Berezkina from Russia, speaking from exile, programme coordinator at the School of Civic Education
Najiba Ayubi, US-based Afghan journalist and activist for human rights and media freedom, Director General of DHSA/The Killid Group, and chapter head of IAWRT in Afghanistan
Kreshma Fakhri, Turkey-based journalist working with The Killid Group since 2009, reporting on corruption, human rights, violence against women and children, and civil war in Afghanistan
Birgitte Jallov from Denmark, Director of EMPOWERHOUSE, an initiative supporting community media and civil society organizations towards sustainability
Therese San Diego Torres, IAWRT Philippines Board Member and Research, Policy, and Advocacy Director at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC)
Rand Sabbagh, Berlin-based Syrian feminist journalist and researcher and Deputy Director at the Syrian Women Journalists Network
Dr. Naila Hamdy from Egypt, associate professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at The American University in Cairo, Egypt, and associate dean for research and graduate studies at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP)
Raziah Quallateon Mwawanga from Tanzania, media expert, trainer, mentor and consultant, and member of IAWRT Tanzania, East African and Tanzania Editors Society and Forum, and Tanzania Media Women’s Association
Nabeelah Shabbir, British-Pakistani journalist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Senior Research Associate at the International Center for Journalists
Sonali Dhawan, researcher from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who previously served as program officer with the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
Among the highlights were the sharing of the speakers from Ukraine and Russia. With all eyes on their respective home countries, they talked about the experiences of journalists who stayed in Ukraine despite being targeted by the Russian army and facing threats of harassment and rape. They expressed their support for Russian journalists who continue to speak the truth amid the ban and shutdown of all independent media, and the detention, torture, and killing of journalists and human rights defenders.
During the program, participants also witnessed a performance by IAWRT Philippines member Marilyn Mirana, who sang “Easy to Lose Hope” against a backdrop of images of women displaying messages of support for journalists and media workers. The song was dedicated to Veronica Guerin, a crime reporter from Ireland who was murdered by drug lords in June 1996.
The keynote presentation provided a glimmer of hope, as it featured the Digital Safe House (DSH) for Women Journalists spearheaded by IAWRT and International Media Support (IMS) with IAWRT Philippines as beneficiary. A pilot project, the DSH is an online platform featuring a reporting mechanism for Filipino women journalists under threat or attack, as well as a portal of resources such as safety training, peer support and counseling, and legal assistance.
Inna Berezkina from Russia, speaking from exile, said, “I hope people will be judged by their deeds, not the color of their passport, because evil has no nationality. And I believe that solidarity shouldn’t have it either.”
The online event provided a venue for women across the globe to listen to each other’s stories and strengthen their solidarity in order to overcome the common struggle against threats and attacks on female truth tellers.
Thursday 17th of March, Elisabeth Eide and co-writer Terje Skaufjord, launched the book På vei mot hindunasjonalisme (Towards Hindunationalism) together with their publisher Res Publica. Mala Wang-Naveen moderated the event, and Professor Kathinka Frøystad from Oslo University gave her views on the book.
A crowd gathered at the Mela house in downtown Oslo, an arena engaging cultural diversity and literary events, where writers Eide and Skaufjord launched their book about the development of right-wing Hindu nationalism in India. From many travels to India, and recent field work, the book extensively covers this topic, and warns against growing far-right extremism in India.
After a discussion at the round table covering the topic, Eide continued the evening greeting friends and eager fans who wanted to have a chance to talk – and for an opportunity of a signed autograph from the author.
Elisabeth Eide, University Professor emeritus at OsloMet, is known for her substantial number of books and articles within journalism and media studies. She made her debut in 1994 with Til Kabul faller, and continued to cover various topics in the region, amongst others in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2002 Eide was awarded the Ossietzky Award.
The Journalism & Media International Center in conjunction with the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University, Uganda have conducted a four-day webinar on safety and security of journalists.
The webinar was attended by 49 final year journalism students and early career journalists from Uganda. The training sessions that started on Monday, 7th March were concluded on 10th March, 2022.
Dr. Ivan Lukanda, who spoke on behalf of the Head of Department, noted that the training is crucial for young journalists, because it enables them to know what to do when they are attacked so that they secure their safety. He commended JMIC for its continued support towards the Department that has enabled them to prepare their students.
The webinar was facilitated by both local and international facilitators. Local facilitators included, Claire Muhindo, the online content manager of Africa Centre for Media Excellence, a local media support organisation and Tabu Butagira, the Managing Editor of Nation Media Group – Uganda.
Other trainers included, Abeer Saady, a recognised safety trainer associated with Journalism & Media International Center and Marte Høiby, a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF Digital, Norway.
Claire Muhindo told participants that journalists should be cautious of their safety digitally, physically and other aspects, because unsafe journalists cannot tell good stories.
Muhindo advised participants to always backup their data, avoid opening emails from untrusted sources, distancing themselves from usage of public Wi-Fi, noting that doing so exposes their accounts to hackers.
Tabu Butagira shared with participants his safety and security experience as a journalist in Uganda. He warned participants against sharing a lot of information about their lives and family on social media platforms because this information can be used by wrong elements to their disadvantage.
“Nothing posted on the digital platforms that cannot be accessed, if wanted. If you don’t want to be recorded anywhere, don’t write. People put [photo] albums on their social media platforms, hence leaving digital footprints.” Butagira said.
“You will never know when you will write a story that will put you into trouble. Always ask yourself if what you are putting on your social media is the right information, and what are the risks? You will see no danger to upload anything, until the danger comes, and it will be too late.” He warned.
Abeer Saady took participants through a host of issues related to safety and security including, risk management and safety planning while working in hostile environments, situational awareness and ethical dilemmas related to safety and security.
Jill Ainebyoona, an early career journalist who was one of the participants said that the webinar had polished his knowledge about safety and security.
“The workshop has opened my eyes about the danger of exposing ourselves through what we post [on social media] and I will continue distancing myself from that practice,” he said.
Susan Nakangwe, another participant said “As a result of the webinar training, I’m in position to protect myself in case of a crisis. I would know when to step aside as well as when to approach the crowd to pick key information. Also, I learnt the essence of wearing protective gear while reporting.”
The webinar is a cooperation between International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) and JMIC.
The speakers include Inna Berezkina, School of Civic Education in Russia, Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Hrybenko, Kreshma Fakhri and Najiba Ayubi from IAWRT Afghanistan and Birgitte Jallov from IAWRT Denmark.
Therese San Diego will present experiences from a digital safe house in the Philippines by IAWRT, to be followed by Raiza Quallateon Mwawanga from IAWRT Tanzania, Naila Hamdy, from The American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt, Rand Sabbagh from the Syrian Female Journalists Network (SFJN), Sonali Dhawan from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)and Nabeelah Shabbir from International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
The webinar is a follow up from last year’s event on new research on media and gender, when a special issue of journalism education on gender and media was launched. This year we want to focus on the experiences with the Digital Safe House (DSH) in the Philippines to see which experiences can be relevant in other parts of the world – and of course look at challenges to the safety of women journalists in the light of the war on Ukraine.
6 students from PhotoCircle in Kathmandu, 6 students from Pathshala in Dhaka and 9 students from OsloMet have started the International Storytelling project 2022:
An online start-up workshop lead by the Indian photo editor, curator and writer Tanvi Mishra together with the Bangladeshi photographer, tutor and curator Sarker Protick.
From 15thto 20thFebruary the students worked on the story pitches, research, further development and preparation of the coming project and field work inspired and tutored by Tanvi Mishra and Sarker Protick.
In the coming weeks the students will work on their individual projects and will meet again for the online editing workshop on the 28thMars.
The Africa chapters of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) are building a continental Action Plan against online harassment of women journalists within and beyond Africa.
The Action Plan build up kick started with an engagement of over 260 female journalists from at least eleven countries in Africa and beyond came together 20 November 2021 to discuss the true face of online harassment against women journalists.
Some of the report findings put it that online attacks against women journalists have political motives. Political actors, extremist networks and partisan media as instigators and amplifiers of online violence against women journalists.
The first engagement was held under the theme, African Women Journalists Navigating Digital Safety under the moderation of IAWRT Secretary Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye who challenged the participants to be deliberate and intentional in identifying the different forms of online harassment, be able to isolate such incidences for pro-active solutions to protect the victims as well as putting to book the perpetrators of harassment.
Violet Gonda, the President of IAWRT, encouraged participants to share and learn from each other the different manifestations of violence and harassment both online and offline expressing optimism of devising defensive mechanisms and protection against all forms of harassment through working together with different partners and associates
Lydia Gachungi, the Regional Expert for Safety of Journalists and Media Development at UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, explored the findings of the UNESCO’s report challenging IAWRT through her networks to ensure the silent oppressed voices are truly represented beyond the boardrooms and efforts stretch up to rural and upcountry stakeholders.
Grace Githiaga, an online safety and tools expert from IAWRT Kenya, challenged women journalists to take personal responsibility and take caution while using online spaces.
Rose Mwalimu, a senior IAWRT member also an expert on media and gender issues. explored the gravity of violence offline that eventually manifests into the digital online spaces.
IAWRT members from Tanzania, Cameroon and Uganda shared their personal experience in the face of online and offline violence and harassment while in their line of duty.
The engagement attracted participants from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique and USA.
The journalist Jocylynne Nakibuule was interviewed by her colleague Eunice Kasirye from Uganda for the podcast Insight Talk.
This is a collaborative podcast made by and about female journalists on the rise of security concerns in times of COVID, sharing insights about the challenges and breakthroughs while covering the pandemic.
The podcast was one of four made by members of International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), coordinated by the Long Documentary and Mentoring Committees and financed by JMIC´s flexible fund.
Four women from four different countries made their first podcast on a chosen topic, while receiving mentoring from other members.
The podcasts were made from India, Pakistan and Kenya in addition to Uganda – and can be listened to here: