Journalists for Human Rights Launches Redesigned Dibaajimo.com Platform with Accenture to Help Train Indigenous Canadians in Journalism

Mobile solution, developed by Accenture Interactive's Fjord design group, helps create new job opportunities in Canada's remote communities

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) has launched the redesigned dibaajimo.com, a free digital learning platform to train indigenous peoples across Canada in fundamental journalism skills and help them begin careers as journalists. 

Dibaajimo, derived from the Ojibwe and Cree word "dibaajimowin" — meaning a story or a narrative — is an innovative platform that provides indigenous Canadians with journalism training, connections and resources. The core of the platform is a 22-module training course that provides a foundation in journalism basics. Participants can also use the site to make story pitches to editors and access additional resources and story archives. The site is updated continually, with a renewed curriculum slated for release this spring.

The platform was redesigned for JHR's Indigenous Reporters Program by Fjord, Accenture Interactive's design and innovation unit, to address the connectivity challenges that are a reality of living in Canada's most-remote communities. The redesign was funded through Accenture's Skills to Succeed initiative, which aims to equip more than 3 million people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business by the end of 2020.

"We are thrilled to launch a digital resource of such quality and utility," said Rachel Pulfer, JHR's executive director. "Working with the Fjord/Accenture team has been both inspiring and enormously productive. The resulting training platform is explicitly designed to help us equip a cohort of new indigenous journalists with the skills they need to succeed and put them on a pathway of opportunity from remote reserves to jobs in the media industry."

JHR's media studies have shown that reporting on indigenous peoples in the Canadian media is often inaccurate, negative in tone, and rarely written by journalists who are indigenous. "Now we have a powerful tool to help us realize our goal to train 100 indigenous people each year with the skills to become professional journalists and drive media-literacy programs in these remote communities," Pulfer said. 

The online distance-learning platform is an integral component of the community media training offered through JHR's larger Indigenous Reporters Program, which strives to increase the quality and quantity of indigenous stories and voices in Canadian media. JHR trainers use the Dibaajimo platform as they work with remote First Nations communities in Ontario to provide skills training and mentorship to community members who want to pursue careers in journalism, as well as to promote civic engagement through media-literacy training to the communities as a whole.

"We redesigned Dibaajimo to give budding journalists in Canada's remote communities a central knowledge-sharing system and enhanced journalism training, even when connectivity isn't optimal," said Scott Weisbrod, group service design director and studio head at Fjord.

Trainers, trainees and aspiring indigenous journalists can access the platform on their mobile devices and quickly download learning modules when they have Wi-Fi access for offline use later.

"The re-launch of a new, fully mobile resource for aspiring indigenous journalists across Canada, which evolved from a web-based tool piloted in Northern Ontario in 2013, is an example of how Accenture's Skills to Succeed initiative is taking demand-led skilling programs to scale with technology and digital solutions," said Deb Swartz, Corporate Citizenship program lead at Accenture in Canada. "Globally, we are optimizing our use of technology to accelerate the reach of our Skills to Succeed partners with jobseekers and entrepreneurs cost effectively and, in turn, improve employment and entrepreneurship outcomes."

To date, JHR has worked with 13 First Nations communities in Ontario, including communities where trainers are currently placed: Lac Seul First Nation, Kasabonika Lake First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation and Eabametoong First Nation. Beyond the community-based media training, the Indigenous Reporters Program invests in and builds the professional skills of indigenous Canadian reporters by providing scholarships to journalism students and coordinating paid internships for emerging reporters. In the last two years JHR's Indigenous Reporters Program has placed 19 indigenous media interns with mainstream media outlets, and 10 of those interns have since been hired [full-time].  The program also offers professional development workshops for newsrooms and journalism programs across Canada on how to report more effectively on indigenous communities, which includes providing historical and cultural context, as well as best practices, when reporting.

About JHR
Journalist 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 14,500 journalists in 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Canada.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world's largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 394,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world's leading brands drive superior marketing performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Accenture Interactive offers integrated, industrialized and industry-driven digital transformation and marketing solutions. It was recently named by Ad Age as the world's largest and fastest-growing digital agency. Fjord, Accenture Interactive's design and innovation unit, reimagines people's relationships with the digital and physical world around them, using the power of design to create services people love. To learn more follow us @Accenture Social and visit www.accenture.com/interactive or www.fjordnet.com.

SOURCE Accenture

For further information: JHR: Hannah Clifford at Hannah@jhr.ca or 416-413-0240 ext. 201; Accenture: Theresa Ebden at Theresa.Ebden@Accenture.com or 416-358-6741

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