$1.5 million project will battle misinformation in 12 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East
TORONTO, June 25, 2020 /CNW/ - Today Journalists for Human Rights and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister for International Development, announced a new project to fight COVID-19 through human rights-based journalism in 12 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the 15-month, $1.5 million program will train and support local journalists to provide credible information and debunk misinformation on Covid19 and the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls' rights. The project will directly engage the local journalists and indirectly reach their estimated audiences of 22 million people with accurate and gender equitable media coverage on COVID-19 in Mali, Tunisia, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Iraq, Yemen and Mauritania.
"In a pandemic, access to accurate health information can save lives" said Journalists for Human Rights Executive Director, Rachel Pulfer. "Through this project, trusted local journalists across the Global South can and will play a critical role in communicating public health measures while combating what the World Health Organization has termed an "infodemic": an inundation of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19. The project will also work towards broad public awareness of the gendered impact of covid-19 on women and girls."
Building off experiences working with journalists covering the Ebola outbreak and operating within existing global travel restrictions, JHR will conduct all capacity building activities for journalists online, via mobile phones and through messaging applications. The project aims to bring mainstream public awareness to the impact of COVID-19 on human rights and women and girls' rights, public health measures, guidelines and gender issues.
"To protect the health and safety of Canadians, we have to work to protect the health and safety of people everywhere in the world" said the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development. "Making sure that there are local trusted partners that can help clarify and tease through all of that information is really important. One of the things that we know is that when you are in crisis, people need to look at trusted information sources."
Beginning in March 2020, JHR began pivoting its resources to battle COVID-19. This included a 3 month project extension in South Sudan to promote human rights based journalism with an emphasis on women and girls as well as a series of oversubscribed webinars in Canada on how to recognize misinformation. JHR believes that increased access to credible and inclusive information will contribute to international public health efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on human rights.
Our thanks to CNW for sponsoring this announcement
About Journalists for Human Rights
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) trains journalists worldwide to cover human rights issues ethically and objectively. For 18 years, Canada-based JHR has worked with 16,000+ journalists around the world. Currently JHR operates sector-wide programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, South Sudan, Mali, Kenya, Jordan, and with Canada's Indigenous communities. For more information, please visit www.jhr.ca
SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)
For further information: Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director Journalists for Human Rights, 147 Spadina Avenue #206, Toronto ON MFV 2L7, 416 413 0240 x 206