Journalists for Human Rights: Indigenous media training program underway in Northern Ontario

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), in partnership with the Wawatay Native Communications Society (WNCS), recently began its second year of sending journalists to work in remote Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario for eight months.

The journalism community trainers have begun training sessions in the First Nations of Kasabonika Lake, North Spirit Lake and Eabametoong. They will provide skills training and mentorship to community members wanting to pursue careers in journalism. This training will help build reporting skills in radio, print, and online reporting. The work will be featured through the Wawatay Native Communications Society's radio network and print publications. Community members will also be able to produce stories for other media outlets across Canada.

"Journalists for Human Rights is delighted to announce a new cycle for JHR's training program, working with Indigenous communities on media skills in Northern Ontario," said Rachel Pulfer, JHR Executive Director. "We are thrilled to welcome a powerful team of talented journalism trainers – some new, some returning - and are looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish."

The community media training is a component of JHR's Indigenous Reporters Program, a three-year program focused on increasing the quality and quantity of news stories about Indigenous peoples in Canada, creating job opportunities for Indigenous Canadian journalists and improving civic engagement through community media in Indigenous communities.

The program mainly operates in remote First Nations in Northern Ontario, most of which are represented by Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN). Wawatay Native Communications Society also serves these communities.

"Wawatay News is excited at the possibility of having journalists working directly in the NAN communities and providing timely stories on community news and events as they unfold," said Chris Kornacki, Editor of Wawatay News and Wawatay News Online. 

"Wawatay Radio Network is hoping the Ingenious Reporters program will bring more stories from the NAN communities to Wawatay Radio Network (WRN)'s airwaves in the Oji-Cree and Cree languages," said George Nakogee, WRN Radio Station Manager in Timmins.

Beyond the community-based media training, the Indigenous Reporters Program will invest in, and build the professional skills of, Canadian Indigenous reporters by providing scholarships to journalism students and coordinating paid internships for emerging reporters. The program also hosts training and relationship-building workshops for Indigenous community groups and media practitioners, to improve reporting about Indigenous issues in Canada.

Including a pilot project that began in 2013-2014, to date, the program has trained 414 people in 10 northern Ontario communities on basic journalism skills. Of these, 43 individuals received intensive journalism training and produced 92 stories reaching an estimated combined audience of 2.2 million people with news about the Indigenous experience in Canada. Through 64 workshops, 833 journalists, journalism students and involved community members have been trained in workshops on best practices for reporting on Indigenous issues. JHR has facilitated 17 internships and 19 scholarships.

The Indigenous Reporters Program's community-based journalism training activities are made possible through support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.                                                   

˖ Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement ˖

Notes for Editors

About WNCS
Established in 1974, Wawatay Native Communications Society serves the communication needs of First Nations people and communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.  It does this through the distribution of daily radio programming, newspaper, multimedia website and television production services that seeks to preserve and enhance indigenous languages and cultures of Aboriginal people in northern Ontario.

About JHR
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is Canada's leading media development organization. Through skills training and mentorship, JHR empowers journalists to report ethically and effectively on local human rights issues that would otherwise be ignored and unaddressed. Since 2002, JHR has trained more than 13,000 journalists in 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Canada.

SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

For further information: JHR: Lenny Carpenter at or 416-413-0240 ext 209


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890