jhr (Journalists for Human Rights)
Follow us on Twitter!Become a jhr Facebook Fan!Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!
 
jhr and Media Development
Media development is a relatively underdeveloped sector of international development. Less than 0.5% of all international development efforts are media related. This is a shame.

Media development — and in particular Rights Media - is a necessary and vital component of all international development efforts. Without a thriving local journalism sector, there can be no effective means of communication between citizens and their governments. Good governance and respect for human rights depends on effective media that has the ability to create and inspire real change.

Our approach to media development sets us apart from traditional 'First Generation' media development organizations that focus on freedom of expression and the protection of journalists (e.g. Reporters without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Article 19)

jhr falls under the umbrella of 'Second Generation' media development. These organizations focus on strengthening the local media in countries with some level of freedom in the press. 'Second Generation' media development can be split into the following four separate categories:
  1. Infrastructure Building: These organizations tend to build media infrastructure where none previously existed. For example, Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression (CJFE) helped to build a printing press in Sierra Leone. Similarly, IMPACS built a radio station and a newspaper aimed at a female audience in Afghanistan.

  2. Content Production: These organizations focus on producing and distributing content that is aimed at creating some social gain. Generally, content is centrally produced and is then distributed to partner media organizations free of charge. Farm Radio International produces and distributes material relating to agricultural practices. Search for Common Ground produces material aimed at conflict resolution and distributes it to partner media organizations in countries like Sierra Leone.

  3. Training: These organizations focus on building the skills of journalism practitioners to do their jobs more effectively. This approach generally focuses on working with pre-existing media houses that have demonstrated sustainability. It also insures that local journalists are the ones producing content within the realties of their newsrooms. The BBC World Service Trust and the Institute of War and Peace Reporting focus on this area of media development.

  4. Rights Media: This is a new category of media development created by jhr. Rights Media combines capacity building efforts with a specific communication objective. In jhr's case, we build the capacity of local journalists to report more effectively on human rights, social justice and good governance issues. Rights Media provides local journalism practitioners with the skills to affect change on specific issues.

    Rights Media bridges a sometimes contentious divide between two camps in the sector: traditional 'media development' proponents and 'communication for development' practitioners. The former of the two focuses on developing infrastructure and professional capacity of media professionals and outlets. The latter focuses on getting particular messages into the public domain through the media. Rights Media does both — it focuses on building capacity of local media outlets to effectively get messages to the general public.
 
CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES
The jhr newsletter comes complete with stories from the field, upcoming event information, fascinating stories, facts and updates!
Sign up by entering your contact information into the form here
CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

JHR launches new program in South Sudan 

Journalists for Human Rights has launched a new project to train journalists and journalism students in South Sudan, the world’s newest country. The two-year project will see JHR trainers working alongside South Sudanese journalists to help strengthen media and increase reporting on human rights issues.

"It’s the first time that a project has actually brought together all of the media actors in the country," said David De Dau, executive director of South Sudan’s Agency for Independent Media and the project’s implementing partner. "The skills and the knowledge that journalists gain in terms of covering human rights issues in the country may actually hold the government accountable."

The initiative is supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund and it will also employ SMS technology to increase access to information in South Sudan, where an ongoing internal conflict has made it difficult for journalists to safely do their jobs. Learn more about JHR's work in South Sudan.

The South Sudan project will get its official launch in Canada at Night for Rights, a fundraising gala for Journalists for Human Rights on September 25 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Lisa LaFlamme, chief anchor at CTV national news, and Masai Ujiri, general manager of the Toronto Raptors, will co-chair the event. Buy your Night for Rights tickets now!

Samuel Awami, of Tanzania’s The Citizen newspaper, and the 2014/2015 Gordon N. Fisher/Journalists for Human Rights Fellow at Toronto’s Massey College, will give the keynote address. Awami will speak about his experiences working with Journalists for Human Rights trainers to cover major human rights issues in Tanzania.

CBC News Network host Reshmi Nair will emcee the gala, which will also feature performances by Dragonette, the Juno Award-winning Toronto electro-pop band, and Torquil Cambell, lead singer of the Montreal-based indie rock band Stars.


Applications open: Bursaries and internships for Indigenous journalists and journalism students

Are you an Indigenous Canadian studying journalism or media at a post-secondary level? Recent graduate looking for professional experience?

Apply for a JHR bursary to support your studies or career!

JHR's new Indigenous Reporters Program is expanding diversity in Canadian media by supporting Indigenous students and journalists. Learn more about the bursary and internship program.

The bursary and scholarship program is possible through the generous support of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Want to know more about how JHR is working with Indigenous people? Get the details!


Image courtesy of Robin Pierro