Categories
Conference Journalist security Press freedom

International conference on Challenges for the Safety of Women Journalists

By: Jola Diones-Mamangun  

The 39th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) took place from 18 to 20November 2022, hosted by the chapter in Tanzania. Delegates from all chapters worldwide met in Zanzibar under the headline Gendered Media Perspectives: Conflict, Covid and Climate Change. 

Tanzanias Minister of Information, Communication & Information Technology Tanzania Hon. Nape Nnauye with members of IAWRT (Photo: IAWRT).

The main plenary on the first day was Afghanistan after Taliban: Status of Women Journalists. The testimonies came from members of IAWRT Afghanistan in exile and online, Najiba Ayubi, Kreshma Fakhri, Somaia Walizadeh – and Abdul Basir Quraishi.  

Reena Mohan from India and Elisabeth Eide from JMIC (online) also shared their experiences about the status of the Afghan journalists after Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. Sharmini Boyle of Internews Pakistan was also present online, and the book “Lives, Jobs, Homeland:Afghan Women Journalists Lose All” was launched. 

The 39th Biennial Conference Plenary on the challenges women journalists face under the Taliban regime. Kreshma Fakhri, an Afghan journalist in exile shares her experience as she sought refuge (Photo: IAWRT).

Digital Safe House (DSH) for journalists at riskwas the focus of another session. Speakers were Colette Simonne Heefner of International Media Support (IMS), Oona Solberg of JMIC and Sue Onslow of Institute of Commonwealth Studies. Therese Patricia San Diego Torres told about the experiences of the pilot project DSH in the Philippines and Birgitte Jallov presented DSH Moldova. Also Greta Gober spoke; as the one who came up with the idea of a DSH originally.  

IAWRTs report on Afghan Women Journalists’ personal safety challenges since August 2021 (Photo: IAWRT).

Countdown to Climate Change was the title of another plenary discussion moderated by Michelle Ferrier, the new international president. JMICs Elisabeth Eide also participated online in this panel together with Lia Torres fromCenter for Environmental Concerns in the Philippines, Becky Bisong from Cameroon and Monica Magoke Mhoja and Maria Matui from Tanzania. 

The Plenary on the way forward for the Digital Safety House (DSH), moderated by outgoing IAWRT president Violet Gonda.

The outgoing IAWRT president and treasurer, Violet Gonda and Jola Diones-Mamangun presented their reports in the final session. Chapter reports from Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Iraq-Kurdistan, Kenya, Nepal, Norway, Moldova, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, USA and the new IAWRT chapter in Sierra Leone followed. Different committees also shared their reports. The turned-over ceremony of the new IAWRT International Board was also one of the highlights of the conference. 

Read the welcome remarks of former president Violet Gonda on https://iawrt.org/welcome-remarks-for-gendered-media-perspectives-conflict-covid-climate-change-conference/ 

Recording:
https://www.facebook.com/iawrt.org/videos/689680912498021 

Categories
access to information Conference Journalist security

JMIC holds discussions with a team from Uganda

By: Gerald Walulya  

The Chief Executive of Journalism & Media International Centre, Oona Solberg last week held a productive engagement with representatives of the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University in Uganda.  

The two representatives included, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala Sembatya, the Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication and Dr. Gerald Walulya, the coordinator of JMIC activities in Uganda and a Lecturer at the same institution.  

The two were in Oslo to participate in the 8th International Conference on Safety and Security of Journalists that is celebrated every at Oslomet in commemoration of the International Day to end impunity for crimes committed against journalists. 

Dr. Gerald Walulya to the left, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala Sembatya in the center and to the right Ellen Hofsvang, who is taking over as Project leader of JMIC in 2023 (Photo by: Oona Solberg).

The discussions focused on the evaluation of the five activities JMIC and the Department of Journalism and Communication have implemented in Uganda this year and plans for the next year. 

These activities included two trainings; one focusing on the safety and security of journalists and the other focusing on Access to Information. The other activities included organising a Rig on Press freedom and the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day on May 5 and the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) on September 28. 

Dr. Nakiwala commended the support that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given to her Department through JMIC. She said that her university remains committed to working with JMIC and Oslomet to further improve the skills and knowledge of journalists and journalism students in Uganda. 

JIMC Chief Executive, Oona Solberg commended the team from Makerere University for the effective utilisation of the support they receive from JMIC. 

Since 2017, JMIC has been working with the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University in Uganda, to train journalists and journalism students in key emerging journalism challenges such as safety and security of Journalists and Access to Information.  

The cooperation between the two institutions has also focused on raising awareness on matters of press freedom and human rights through commemoration of important days such as the World Press Freedom Day and the International Day for Universal Access to Information. 

Categories
Journalist security Press freedom Workshop

Interactive safety training 

By Bora Ataman and Baris Coban 

“Safety of Journalists Training Program” was held in Istanbul on October 15-16, in cooperation with TOVAK (Turkish Social Services Foundation), TGS (The Journalists’ Union of Turkey) and JMIC-OsloMet.  

The first day of the training was entirely allocated to Abeer Saady, one of the distinguished international safety experts working with JMIC. In a total of 4 sessions, interactive training content on how to stay away from violence and how journalists can protect themselves, and the risks and threats that reporters frequently face were discussed.  

The group trained in Istanbul in October (Photo: Hilal Yilmaz, TGS).

On the second day of the training, how journalists can also protect their mental health when applying for psychological support, and legal aspects of journalism safety and digital security were discussed in 3 separate sessions. All sessions had content covering both the offline and online safety of journalists.  

The lessons were very productive thanks to the hands-on training method that allowed the participants to share their experiences and learn from each other. At the end of the 2-day training, most of the participants said that they found the training very satisfying, with reference to the awareness they gained on journalism safety and the practical knowledge they gained. In addition, they stated that they wanted to cover all their deficiencies in this regard with more detailed, longer-term training in the near future. 

 The group trained for two days (Photo: Hilal Yilmaz, TGS).

The safety handbook “What if…” by Abeer Saady is translated to Turkish. Abeer Saady was asked to do a safety training in Turkey when the book was launched by TGS before the summer, and she is invited  back again.  

Book link:
https://www.kafkakitap.com/kitap/kadin-gazeteciler-icin-guvenlik-el-kitabi-ne-yapmali/ 

Download link:
The Safety Handbook translated to Turkish

Categories
Future of Media Journalist security Press freedom War and peace Workshop

Social media and mediated societies in transition

By: Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan

The Faculty of Humanities, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) (FCCU), in collaboration with the Department of Journalism and Media Studies and Journalism and Media International Centre (JMIC) at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) in Norway, hosted a three-day workshop on “Peace Journalism” on the topic of “Surviving the social media onslaught: Mainstream journalism, peace, and democracy in the transitional societies” in Lahore in Pakistan 11 – 13 October 2022. 

If we agree with Marshal McLuhan in the slightest possible way, the advent of social media ushers is the dawn of a new phase in human civilisation. The rise of social media has taken the world by storm: online aggression, polarisation in human societies, populism, fake news, alternative truth, and many challenges outweigh the original euphoria of the arrival of the new saviour. There is no doubt about the positive influence of the social media: interactive discourse patterns, freedom to express ones views without any dependence on external gate keepers, voices for the voiceless, representation of the marginalised. All these but seem to be a lost cause amid the chaos created by echo chamber mentality through creating communities of consent. The public sphere is lost to the populist and the ‘unfinished project of modernity’ seems falling apart.

Group photo of the workshop participants, speakers and organizers (Photo: Media Center, Forman Christian College University).

The three day peace journalism workshop on Surviving the Social Media Onslaught: Mainstream Journalism, Peace and Democracy in Transitional Societies was organised at Forman Christian College University, Lahore in collaboration with Journalism and Media International Center, OsloMet Norway from October 11 to 13, 2022. Head of the department of Journalism & Media Studies at OsloMet, Anne Hege Simonsen also participated in the Lahore workshop.

Anne Hege Simonsen engaged the audience in an interactive session (Photo: Media Center, Forman Christian College University).

77 participants registered through a Google link, 51 of these were invited, while 45 successfully completed the workshop to win their certificates of participation. All universities offering mass communication degrees in Lahore were represented in the workshop. Participants from Multan in southern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Peshawar and Swat), Karachi, and Islamabad also participated in the activity. Working journalists from Lahore and Peshawar were also among the participants. The workshop program was organised around four themes: theoretical concepts of peace journalism within the context of social media and preservation of democracy, practical journalists’ insights into the working of the social media dominated media structures in Pakistan, technological aspects of social media platforms’ perils and potentials, expertise from fields outside academic and practical journalism.

All the four thematic streams contributed to the understanding of the working of mediated societies in transition. The academic presentations of research projects gave an insight into the working of the research structures in Pakistan. These were mutually beneficial for the presenters and the audiences, the former getting valuable feedback from a well versed audience, while the latter having access to the latest developments.

Altaf Ullha Khan delivers his inaugural speech on the first day of the Workshop (Photo: Media Center, Forman Christian College University).

The theoretical submissions were balanced by the experiences from the field. Working journalists gave their views on the practical impact of social media on their everyday working in the media. Views from outside the realm of peace studies and journalism came handy through inputs from counter insurgency and counter terrorism perspectives. It also made clear the distinction between the former and the latter two, peace studies being a social process, believing in the goodness and equality of humankind, while anything counter (insurgency or terrorism) serving as strategic responses by political structures used by state apparatuses, resting on the premise of a belligerent other within the same society.

Last but not least was the discussions on the ethical pitfalls in times of war. Truth being the first casualty of any aggression, leaving no victors. The presentation on visual literacy helped the audience to identify their own biases to move out of their personal utopias and become more self-reflective. The discussion on public sphere within the context of Juergen Habermas’ latest book were the highlight of how theoretical underpinnings could be used to practically develop a discourse.

Question/Answer session between the participant and speakers (Photo: Media Center, Forman Christian College University).

Like all things human, the workshop deepened our understanding of the new media, the challenges and potentials it offers, and how to harness these independent energies for the betterments of human societies. The possibility of a global and shared idea of humanity is very much in sight. It is a vague path with no guarantees or milestones. The only way to explore is to keep moving forward and digging deeper to unearth the best possible option for peace and democracy through our feeble capacities as journalists and educationists.

Vice Rector, Douglas Trimble and Altaf Khan presents a souvenir to Anne Hege Simonsen (Photo: Media Center, Forman Christian College University).
Categories
Journalist security Students

About threats in Yemen  

By Noha Abdullah

More than 40 students and journalists received digital training on how to deal with threats and hate campaigns in Yemen by JMIC trainer Abeer Saady 12 September.  

Professor Dr. Ali M. Al-Burihy, a professor of media  and communication at Sana’a University, made an introduction about the kind of threats media workers face locally, especially women. He emphasized that such training is not often provided in Yemen.  

The trainer Abeer Saady reviewed concepts and themes about the need for a journalist to feel safe and the things that a journalist should do through awareness of him- or herself and the surroundings. 

The poster for the third training in Yemen.

She discussed how to work in local communities and ways to work in the right way, as well as how to work with the management during press coverage in areas with internal conflicts.  

Saady also explained the method of threat analysis, risk management, and risk analysis. She discussed ways to face risks when dangerous threats occur, and ways to reduce threats. Comments and questions were also raised from some of the participants. 

The training was facilitated by Noha Abdullah in the Cultural Media Center (CMC) for the third time. They have received a lot of positive feedback after the online training:  

“If this indicates anything, it indicates the need for journalists for such sessions, especially in these circumstances that Yemen is going through. I really don’t know how to thank you all for this opportunity.”  

Categories
Gender Journalist security Press freedom

Award to Iraqi Kurdish journalist 

Niyaz Abdullah has been awarded by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Click to open link.

She is a member of International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) chapter in Kurdistan in Iraq, and has worked in Radio NAWA for many years.  

According to CPJ she has covered politics, civil unrest, government corruption, human rights, and ethnic and religious minorities in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

She has faced legal harassment by security forces and local authorities, and she has been detained and threatened with violence over her work. 

Niyaz Abdullah has been granted residence in France. 

Categories
Exhibition Journalist security Photo journalism Press freedom

United Nations showing images from Afghanistan  

The Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations in New York opened an exhibition with photographs from Afghanistan 3 May, the World Press Freedom Day. 

Norway pays tribute to brave journalists, photographers and media workers in Afghanistan and across the world, according to @NorwayUN on Twitter.

Norway’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Mona Juul opened the exhibition, which was attended by media, diplomats and UN colleagues. 

Fore more information: 

https://www.norway.no/en/missions/UN/news/photo-exhibition-by-afghan-photographers/

Categories
Future of Media Journalist security Press freedom

UGANDA GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO PROMOTING PRESS FREEDOM 

Uganda’s Minister of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has pledged government’s commitment to promote media freedom in Uganda.  

By: Gerald Walulya 

While speaking at the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day on May 5, 2022 in Kampala, Uganda, Baryomunsi said that the government has allowed “reasonable press freedom in Uganda.” 

“The position of government is that the media should be free. I have spoken in audiences of security and police officers and I have insisted that media practitioners should be given freedom and space to practice their profession,” Baryomunsi said before further pledging that: “As long as I am the minister in charge of information I will insist that the police and security have no right whatsoever to harass journalists as they do their work because media practice and journalism is a service like any other.” 

The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi (center) handing over an award to Dr. Patricia Litho (second from left), the Board Chairperson of Uganda Media Women’s Association (Photo: Christopher Zziwa).

His comments came in the wake of increased attacks on journalists by the police and army that have left several journalists injured and their equipment destroyed. A press freedom index released recently by a local NGO, Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda shows that the Police and the army are the leading perpetuators of press freedom violations in Uganda. 

The recent attacks on journalists have seen Uganda’s 2022 ranking in the World Press Freedom index drop to 132 from 125 in the previous year.  

Baryomunsi acknowledged that media practitioners and journalists need to be supported and protected because they perform an important role in society. 

“We need to work together and we need to support journalists, to protect them but also most importantly to respect and appreciate that they are also doing their work,” he said. 

The keynote speaker, Robert Kabushenga advised journalists to change their mindset as well as retooling and reskilling themselves to fit in the new digital world. 

Mr. Robert Kabushenga, the former Managing Director of the State owned Vision group who was the keynote speaker (Photo: Christopher Zziwa).  

The commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day was supported by the Journalism & Media International Centre of Oslo Metropolitan University.  

Event youtube channel: 

Categories
Journalist security Workshop

Staying safe at the digital workplace

A four-day training workshop on digital security in hostile environments with strong media systems was completed on April 22, 2022. The workshop took place as part of a continuous collaboration between Forman Christian College University (FCCU) in Lahore in Pakistan and JMIC/OsloMet. 

By Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan

Group photo on the completion of 4-day journalists’ safety workshop (Photo: Media center FCCU).

The theme of the training is relevant globally. In a country like Pakistan it becomes even more important. Journalism is a dangerous profession in the country and digital safety is of paramount importance amid polarization in both society and media. Keyboard warriors and clickbait culture has put journalists in an extremely vulnerable position. Knowing the basics of digital safety is an important resource for good journalism. 

We are thankful to OsloMet for the financial and expert support in organizing this important training. The trainer Ms. Abeer Saady did a wonderful job by bringing home the skills to the participants.  

Dr Abeer Saady talks about digital security measures (Photo: Media center FCCU).

Our heartiest gratitude to the participants, a group representative of media professionals, academia, and students from different cities of Pakistan. The interactive and proactive nature of the workshop was the key to its success.  

The daily roundup for each day was produced to accommodate as much views as possible on different themes from participants. It was also an effort to recognize the contribution of all who participated in the workshop by giving them a visual representation. 

The final video of the workshop gives an overview of the whole activity as well as contains testimonials.  

We are also thankful to the rector and vice rector of FCCU for their support and active presence.  

Last but not least my special thanks to student volunteers of FCCU who tirelessly worked to support the workshop as well as played a key role in producing the deliverables. 

In the end I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the organization and completion of the international activity in the month of Ramadan. 

Dr Abeer Saady and Dr Altaf Ullah Khan pose for a picture outside Lahore Press Club (LPC)

We look forward to more international partnerships in the very near future. This collaboration is also a testimony to the fact that international collaboration to solve the shared problems of humanity is possible. We only need the will to act, the commitment to work hard, and the trust to build a better world. 

More information:  

Video report on workshop on Digital Security in Hostile Environments with Strong Media Systems (Media center FCCU): https://youtu.be/zqdK4brhHdk    

Categories
Journalist security Press freedom Workshop

JMIC trains Ukrainians and Russians in safety 

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. 

Ukrainian journalists receiving support

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.