jhr (Journalists for Human Rights)
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What is Rights Media?

  • What is Rights Rights Media
  • The Rights Based Approach

Photo by Katerine Brisebois
jhr believes that a healthy media sector is a prerequisite for a healthy society. To achieve this we provide the platform for local media practitioners to produce effective Rights Media.

Rights Media is the process of writing, collecting, editing, producing and distributing media that creates societal dialogue on human rights issues.

Rights Media mainstreams human rights content into everyday news stories. For instance, a newspaper could create a section specifically on children's rights, or it could encourage its sports, business or even entertainment reporters to cover the human rights angles hidden within their stories.

Rights Media must be both ethical and objective to be effective. The credibility of the media-practitioners, journalists, news outlets and sources involved is crucial. All sides of rights issues - the good and bad - should be explored.

At its best, Rights Media is what the media should be. It is objective, entertaining, informative and life-changing. It shapes the way people see themselves and the outside world. It appeals to our higher instincts, not our base one.

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.
The Rights Based Approach (RBA) is an approach to development that is supported by the UN as an integral means of conducting sustainable development. It is based on international human rights standards and is directed towards promoting, enforcing and protecting the presence of human rights. The aim of the RBA is to integrate established human rights standards into the discussions, policies, conventions, and processes that address development.

To ensure that rights media is effective in creating change, jhr training activities focus on developing the journalism skills required to produce rights media that incorporates elements of the rights based approach.


Rights Media Framework

The voices of all involved are offered in the story: Rights media ensures that not only the events, but also the voices of those affected by the events are presented in the story.
Duty bearers and right violators are held accountable: Rights media ensures that those responsible are asked to speak to the rights violation or abuse.
Journalists do not discriminate when producing a story: Rights media does not discriminate by valuing one human right over another or group of peoples over another.
The media can empower the public: Rights media is accessible by the communities of those affected by the issue.
Stories include sources which link the event to human rights: Rights media ensures that human right stories source human right doctrines relevant to the event and community.
 
CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES
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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