New program brings media training to Indigenous communities in northern Ontario

TORONTO, April 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights, in partnership with the Wawatay Native Communications Society, is sending journalism trainers to work in four remote Indigenous communities in northern Ontario over the next eight months.

The trainers 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 radio network and print publications. Community members will also produce stories for other media outlets across Canada.

"Over 13 years, JHR has established a global reputation as a leader in human rights media training, and I am so excited to work with Canadians to improve media skills and bring new voices into national conversations on rights issues," said Danny Glenwright, Journalists for Human Rights Executive Director, "I'm thrilled to welcome a new team of talented journalism trainers. I have high hopes for what these trainers and partner communities will accomplish over the next three years."

The community media training is a component of Journalists for Human Rights' 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 benefits of this project, can have a long-lasting positive impact by engaging the community with the training of citizen journalists," said John Gagnon, Wawatay Native Communications Society  Operations Manager, "To promote our languages and report on stories from our cultural perspectives is an empowering process and we see it as an advantage for the people young and old." 

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 18 journalism students and coordinating 18 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.

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.                                                

Notes for Editors

About Journalists for Human Rights
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 13,000 journalists in 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Canada.

About Wawatay Native Communications Society
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.

SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

For further information: Robin Pierro, robin@jhr.ca or 416-413-0240 ext 201

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