“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.”
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.
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.
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.
Department of Communication & Digital Media at An-Najah National University (NNU) concluded the five day workshop The Rig on press freedom in the Arab world Thursday 6 January 2022.
The workshop was organized in cooperation between NNU and OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University. The implementation was supervised by the teachers Farid Abudheir, Dalal Radwan, Ibrahim Okkeh, and Ayman Al-Masry.
42 students from the Department of Communication & Digital Media and the Department of Radio & TV participated in the workshop. This workshop comes within the framework of cooperation between the two universities in the field of media and communication, which dates back to 1999.
The workshop aims, according to the workshop coordinator, Farid Abudheir, to raise the level of knowledge and awareness of media students about the concept of press freedom and its reality in the world in general, and in the Arab world in particular, where students work over five days to research issues of violations against media and journalists in various Arab countries. Abudheir adds that the workshop also aims to strengthen the concepts of media ethics among the journalism students, the most important of which are: Obtaining firsthand information from sources, verifying the validity of information, in addition to making balance in building news stories, as well as using data journalism tools in searching for information, filtering and using it in media materials in the framework of credibility, accuracy and fairness.
This workshop is distinguished in its topic and implementation mechanism. The Rig on press freedom was invented by Professor Elisabeth Frey from OsloMet, who participated in implementing it at NNU in 2017 and 2019, while she was unable to participate in the workshop this year with her colleague Mathias Falch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The distinction of this training workshop lies in the fact that it is based on mechanisms of taking students from theoretical academic education to practice outside the class, transferring the student from the limited local field to the wide global arena, as well as moving the student to the digital space and employing modern techniques in building the journalistic story.
At the closing session of the workshop, Farid Abudheir, thanked everybody at NNU and OsloMet contributing to the success of the workshop. He also thanked Ruben André Johansen, Second Secretary at the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority, for attending the ceremony and participating in honouring the students.
Ruben André Johansen said that the declining state of press freedom in the world requires strong, principled and experienced journalists. He added that the independent press is one of the most important elements in a democratic society, which is why Norway supports projects that focus on press freedom, including the Rig on press freedom workshop at NNU. He thanked the organizers of the workshop for inviting him to attend the closing session of the workshop, and congratulated the teachers, professors and students on the successful completion of the workshop.
Mr. Raed Al-Dabai, the NNU President’s Assistant, emphasized that freedom is a great value, and that media freedom is an essential component of the values for development and progress, and that NNU appreciates the idea of the project and the value it defends, which is the freedom of the press. Al-Dubai thanked the partners in Norway and OsloMet University for their efforts in making these projects a success, looking forward to more cooperation and achievements in the coming days.
Roaa Al-Khuffash, who spoke on behalf of the students, expressed her and her colleagues’ happiness with the Rig and its successful completion. Al-Khuffash added that the value of the Rig lies in taking student away from the usual stereotypical style of teaching, since it broadens the students’ perceptions of press freedom in the Arab world, integrating students in media field work, and makes the student bear the responsibility of the information s/he transmits in his reports.
It is noteworthy that the presentations of the students’ achievements before the concluding paragraph included a brief by each student’s about the story he/she worked on during the Rig, its importance, the methods he/she used in building the story, and the challenges he/she faced. This was followed by an evaluation; a discussion of the students’ performance.
Certificates issued by OsloMet and NNU were distributed to the participating students. The final outcome of the Rig will be the publication of all stories in a newspaper soon after the Rig.
On May 3, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) in partnership with the Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC) of Oslo Metropolitan University, and in collaboration with UNESCO Jakarta held an online protest action on May 3, World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).