Categories
Press freedom Students

Norwegians and Palestinians studied press freedom together 

By Emily Solem-Young 

In May, Norwegian and Palestinian students collaborated at OsloMet, investigating the conditions of press freedom in seven countries  

The Norwegian and Palestinian students worked together in small groups (Photo: Emily Solem-Young). 

The Rig on press freedom is a journalistic end-of-year-project that has been an annual happening for the first year journalism students at OsloMet for more than a decade. 

Professor Elsebeth Frey and her colleague Mathias Falch have arranged the same project at An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine in 2017 and 2019, and in May this year, Palestinians that participated in these workshops joined the Norwegian students during the Rig. 

Farid Abudheir, Assistant Professor, Communication & Digital Media, An-Najah National University in Nablus in Palestine (Photo Oona Solberg) .

The Norwegians and Palestinians worked together in small groups with interpreters, writing news stories about the press freedom in Tanzania, Lebanon, Tunisia, South Africa, Austria, Spain, and the Czech Republic. 

This is the first time OsloMet receives student visits from abroad during the Rig. 

Marie Lauvdal collaborated with Reem Maree on an article about freelancers in Lebanon. 

Reem Maree and Marie Lauvdal collaborated during the Rig (Photo Emily Solem-Young).

– It helped a lot when we were interviewing sources from Lebanon since Reem spoke Arabic. She also helped me translate various websites and videos, Lauvdal said. 

Aziza Jaljouy worked with the Tanzania group. 

– It makes you think about how different press freedom is in different countries, she said. 

The Palestinian students enjoying the Norwegian spring after school (Photo Private).

Read more about the Palestinians experience of the Rig: 

https://eco.najah.edu/en/news/2022/06/students-and-graduates-department-communication-digital-media-najah-national-university-complete-training-session-entitled-rig-press-freedom-oslomet-university-norway/ 
(by Aziza Jaljouy) 

Read more about the cooperation and read all the news stories on Journalen (in Norwegian): 

https://journalen.oslomet.no/2022/05/samarbeider-om-pressefrihet 
(by Emily Solem-Young) 

Categories
Future of Media Press freedom War and peace

Afghanistan – no country for journalism?

On Tuesday 14 June JMIC (Journalism & Media International Center) at OsloMet presented a report on the development of Afghan journalism after the Taliban takeover in mid-August 2021. 

H.E. Youssof Ghafoorzai, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Norway (Photo:  Pål Arne Kvalnes, OsloMet).

The study is based on analysis of media content from six Afghan outlets, as well as interviews with prominent media leaders, and journalists still working inside Afghanistan. It is to our knowledge the most comprehensive report on this issue so far.  

The event was addressed by: 

H.E. Youssof Ghafoorzai, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Norway, Oddgeir Osland, Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences, OsloMet, and Knut Olav Åmås, Director, Free Expression Foundation.  

The report was presented by: 

Elisabeth Eide (Professor Emerita, project leader), Hasina Shirzad (MA student, OsloMet), and Zahir Athari (researcher, UiO). 

Other team members are postdoc fellow at OsloMet Mahmud Farjami as well as Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Director of Nai-SOMA, a media watchdog in Afghanistan, who could not be present at the occasion.  

The presentation was followed by comments from Mr. Sharif Hassanyar, previous Director of Ariana TV network in Afghanistan Kristian Berg Harpviken, Research Professor, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)  

Responses from the authors and questions from the audience. 

The event was streamed for those who could not attend physically.

More information about the event on the OsloMet homepage:
https://www.oslomet.no/en/about/events/afghanistan-journalists

The link to the recording:
https://film.oslomet.no/afghanistan-et-land-der-1

Read more:  

Afghan media landscape drastically changed, finds study – Pajhwok Afghan News  

(In Norwegian):  

Aftenposten:

https://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikk/i/Wjp7zL/overlever-journalistikken-i-afghanistan

Journalisten:

https://journalisten.no/afghanistan-elisabeth-eide-kortnytt/rapport-omfattende-mediedod-i-aghanistan-etter-maktskiftet/523310

Uniforum:

https://www.uniforum.uio.no/nyheter/2022/06/journalistikken-i-afghanistan-er-truga.html

UiO:

KRONIKK: Akademia i Afghanistan i eksistensiell krise – Uniforum (uio.no) 

The launch: https://film.oslomet.no/afghanistan-et-land-der-1 

The printed report is available by clicking here.

All photos by Pål Arne Kvalnes, OsloMet.

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
Press freedom Students

THE RIG ON PRESS FREEDOM IN UGANDA 

By: Gerald Walulya

The Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University in Uganda has hosted a one week session of the Rig Press Freedom project. 

Some of the participants in The Rig on press freedom posing for pictures with some of their lecturers at the former faculty of arts building at Makerere University. (Photo: Sharon Muzaki)

The reporting on press freedom focused on five countries namely; Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Germany and Burundi. 

Thirty three final year journalism students participated in the project. They were divided into five groups, with each group focusing on one country. The five groups of students were supported by five local teachers and one support teacher, Dr. Florence Namasinga Selnes from Oslo Metropolitan University.  

Students of journalism at Makerere University attending a lecture about press freedom. The lecture, given by Florence Namasinga Selnes focused on the state of freedom of the press in the world in general and in Uganda in particular. (Photo: Sharon Muzaki)

The main task of the participating students was to write news stories on the media freedom environment in the assigned countries. The project started on Friday 22, April with a lecture to students and staff of Makerere University on Press Freedom that was given by Dr. Namasinga Selnes. 

According to the participants, the project has been very beneficial and full of experiences, making it a better orientation into the journalism practice. 

Some of our students discussing Rig stories. (Photo: Gerald Walulya)

“I have learnt how to report international stories. I have received exposure of how to relate with international sources, “Rehema Namagembe, one of the participants said. “My participation in the Rig has helped me to build confidence in interviewing people on phone and making thorough research on stories outside Uganda,” Daphine Nakabiri, said. Another participant, Gloria Irankunda said: “I got to know that media houses in most African countries operate under hardships in form of threats and physical assault.”  

The Head of Department of Journalism and Communication, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala spoke of the students experience with the Rig as enriching in terms of helping students to appreciate the press freedom environment in other countries.  

The project was sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Journalism & Media international Centre (JMIC) of Oslo Metropolitan University. This is the second time the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University has hosted this project. The first Rig project was conducted in 2018. 

Categories
Climate change Press freedom Webinar

MY CLIMATE CHANGE STORY: The democratization of climate news

“What does two degrees Celsius actually mean to people? Information and debate are dominated by national governments, large enterprises, scientists, and academia. Our community’s experience has been ignored; and left out of the search for solutions.”

My Climate Change Story is a project initiated by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to collect climate change vignettes from the people experiencing climate change first-hand and working together to protect the environment to make a difference. Submissions will be uploaded to My Climate Change YouTube Channel to begin a global discussion. 

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2022, a virtual event to discuss the democratization of climate information is organized with support from JMIC. In the first part of the webinar, two small videos will be presented. It will be followed by a panel of experts who will speak to the UNESCO theme and climate journalists.  

Sasha Chavkin, of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Columbia Journalism Review, has reported “Many of the countries that have seen the most violence against environmental defenders in recent years also rank near the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.” Journalists must feel confident and safe to report their stories for the greater public good.” 

Speakers include:

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. 

Categories
Gender Journalist security Press freedom War and peace

Safety of Women Journalists:

Solidarity in the Face of Challenges

By: Therese San Diego Torres

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.

Categories
Gender Journalist security Press freedom

Championing Digital Safety

By: Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye         

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.   

Poster – Navigating Digital Safety.

The  development of the Action Plan against Online Harassment is hinged against the findings of the UNESCO report, titled “The Chilling: Global trends in online violence 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. 

Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye.

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.

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.

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. 

For more information: https://iawrt.org/news/iawrt-africa-chapters-championing-digital-safety 

Categories
Gender Human rights Press freedom

Silence is killing us

In an interview with Violet Gonda Afghan journalist and media leader Najiba Ayubi says the silence of the world is killing the people of Afghanistan, especially women and female journalists.  

Najiba Ayubi is a leading Afghan media personality and one of the Information Heroes by Reporters Without Borders.  

She narrates the evacuation ordeal to Germany and USA with her family after the fall of the country to the Taliban 15 August.  

The interview was done in December after she was settled in USA, but published 3 February in the programme Hot Seat by Violet Gonda.

Gonda is an award winning journalist and President of President: International Association of Women in Radio & Television [IAWRT]

IAWRT has been trying to assist its members to be evacuated from Afghanistan after they received death threats from the Taliban. Najiba Ayubi is the chapter head of IAWRT Afghanistan.