Categories
Climate change Workshop

Workshop on Climate Journalism Education 

By Syed M. Saqib Saleem   

The Faculty of Humanities, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), in collaboration with JMIC, hosted a one-day workshop on Climate Journalism Education 1st June 2022.  

The workshop was attended by academicians, postgraduate students and journalists joining in from all over Pakistan and abroad.  

Group photo of the climate journalism education workshop (Photo: Media Center, FCCU).

It discussed ways of teaching climate journalism and helped provide ideas for training journalism students through the collective effort of academicians and journalists who have worked in the field and are aware of the climate crisis.  

Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan, Dean of Humanities at FCCU, inaugurated the workshop and gave a keynote speech in which he stated, “If we, as academicians, have a good understanding of climate crisis, only then we will be able to train our students in the best possible way on its journalistic perspective as well. Since climate change is both our present and our future.” 

Dr Altaf Ullah Khan delivers his keynote speech at the workshop inauguration ceremony (Photo: Media Center, FCCU).

The workshop was moderated by Rachel Hasan, Chairperson Department of Mass Communication. Dr Elisabeth Eide, Co-Director Media Climate Network and Professor of Journalism from OsloMet, gave a brief introduction of the workshop and gave the floor to Dr Derk Bakker, Associate Professor and Chairperson of Department of Environmental Sciences, FCCU. He highlighted the impacts and solutions for climate change.  

Dr Derk Bakker pinpoints impacts and solutions of climate change (Photo: Media Center, FCCU).

Dr Elisabeth Eide later built up on his speech and shared why climate change is a concern for journalists and journalism students. She shared the models for education on climate journalism and stated: “It is crucial to combine studies with field visits for students as well and help them learn from local experts and indigenous people.” 

Moreover, Hannah Bernstein, science journalist and project manager at Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, along with Syed Abubakar, Environment journalist and media trainer, and Syed M. Saqib, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication, FCCU, further discussed ways to train students to cover climate stories and what can be included in the courses to enhance future journalists’ capacity to report on climate. They were of the view that it is high time, climate journalism was integrated into the curriculum for journalism students in Pakistan. 

Finally, Muhammad Daud Khan and Stella Paul, the two famous climate journalists working in the field and setting a precedent for others to follow, joined the workshop and shared that: “As journalists, we are storytellers and are also the mediators between people at the frontline of climate crisis and masses. So, we have to be the ones to tell the missing stories to the world.” 

The workshop was concluded with some final remarks by Dr Elisabeth Eide and Oona Solberg. Dr Douglas Trimble, Vice-Rector, FCCU, was also present at the occasion and gave his concluding speech. After that, certificates were distributed among the participants.  

Overall, the training was informative and valuable for participants and encouraged them to become change makers within their institutions and support the efforts to introduce climate journalism education courses for journalism students in Pakistan.  

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
Journalist security Workshop

JMIC trains 49 journalism students in Uganda in safety

By Gerald Walulya, JMIC coordinator – Uganda.

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.  

 JMIC  safety trainer Abeer Saady teaching.

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 spoke on behalf of the Head of Department

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. 

Marte Høiby is a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF.

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.” 

Categories
Conference Future of Media

Cairo Media Conference 3: A success

VIDEO by: Ahmed Montasser

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt partnered once again with OsloMet to host a two-day conference to bring together journalism and media professionals, students, and academics – ranging from decision-makers and editors to social media influencers – to discuss and explore solutions to ever-changing realities they face. 

The Cairo Media Conference 3 held December 6 – 7, 2021 explored ways to address these disruptions, challenges, best practices, and innovation in the aftermath of an extraordinary time. The theme of the conference “The reconstruction of journalism in the age of entertainment and uncertainty” allowed for a diverse number of speakers to share and discuss issues of common concern and mutual exchange with the participants of the conference whether it was related to the effects of audience flight or the arrival of artificial intelligence. 

Organized by Naila Hamdy, the panels and keynotes included Hildegunn Soldal, head of the Digital Department at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and Kristoffer Egeberg editor-in-chief of Faktisk, an independent Fact-checking platform, Abeer Saady, former Egyptian press syndicate member and prominent journalist and current media development expert, and researcher at Dortmund University, Gisselle Khoury, the eminent host of an interview-style regional TV show, and Ehab El-Zelaki editor-in-chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm, among others.  

Following the success of the conference, The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Department at AUC looks forward to the fourth edition of the Cairo Media Conference.   

Dr. Naila Hamdy, Associate Professor of Journalism at AUC, highlights the partnership between the American University in Cairo, Egypt and OsloMet that seeks to raise the level of collaboration between the two institutions.   

Video by Ahmed Montasser

Identifying a partner that has a common vision when it comes to journalism, media and media education is exceptionally gratifying. After several years of cooperation, I look forward to more advances in our efforts to contribute to the global conversation on the future of journalism and help enable professionals, educators and students to embrace the unknown, harness the shifts and seize opportunities at these times of uncertainty.”