Lisa LaFlamme joins Journalists for Human Rights as Expert Media Mentor in DR Congo
Top Canadian journalist and news anchor to mentor local reporters on gender-related security issues, investigative skills and human rights reporting
Toronto, 24 May – Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor, will visit Journalists for Human Rights’ (JHR) media development project in the DR Congo next week to mentor and work with a network of Congolese reporters. The trip comes at a crucial time, as violence flares in DR Congo’s eastern provinces, amid mounting Canadian concern regarding the country’s human rights and press freedom record.
LaFlamme will travel to JHR’s projects to lead skills-building workshops and training for local journalists who routinely risk their lives to cover local human rights issues. LaFlamme, who has reported from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and natural disasters in Sri Lanka and Haiti, is no stranger to practicing quality journalism in dangerous places. She will focus on gender-related security issues that female journalists face in war zones, investigative skills and human rights reporting.
“JHR has spent more than a decade helping local journalists overcome significant obstacles – from a lack of basic resources to government intimidation and corruption – to report their stories safely and fairly. These reporters, editors, producers and photographers have never known what it’s like to work in the kind of free press environment we enjoy here in Canada,” said LaFlamme. “In the DRC and many other places around the world, journalists who question authority can end up in jail, or dead. This trip is important to me because when journalists are threatened and bullied, anywhere, it is personal for all of us. You can't have democracy without a free press and you can't have a free press without democracy.”
“JHR’s work ensures the stories that transform peoples’ lives and ensure governments and courts are doing the right thing by their citizens, are told fairly and accurately,” said Rachel Pulfer, JHR Executive Director. “Working with Lisa is an honour for JHR, as she represents the very best in Canadian journalism. We are thrilled she will be working to shore up quality journalism and support reporters who face some of the toughest conditions on earth."
During LaFlamme’s ten days in the DR Congo, she will meet local journalists in Kinshasa and Goma for a professional exchange of experiences. JHR’s Congolese staff have established a network of 11 human rights press clubs with over 200 members across the country. In 2012, JHR worked with 136 Congolese journalists and journalism students who produced over 180 human rights-focused stories that reached over 10 million citizens.
JHR Ghana Awarded Governor General's Medal
On Wednesday, 15 May, JHR Ghana received one of Canada's top overseas honours: a Governor General's medal. Governor General David Johnston presented the medal to JHR staff at a reception at the Canadian High Commisssioner's residence in Accra.
Trudy Kernighan, Canadian High Commmissioner to Ghana, praised JHR's work in Ghana, noting that it has helped local journalists focus on human rights and good governance stories as well as enhanced the relationship between Ghana and Canada.
See more photos of the event here.