Local reporters in war-torn Eastern provinces gain international platform
TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) has launched a new live-blog, News from DR Congo featuring Congolese journalists on the ground in the city of Goma.
The blog will provide unique, local perspectives on the current Congo conflict and will put a human face on a region and country in crisis.
Since Goma fell to the M23 rebel group on November 20, 2012, the freedom of local media has been severely restricted and Congolese voices have been largely absent from the international coverage of the conflict.
"One of the first actions of the M23 rebels was to shut down the local press," said Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights. "This initiative is to ensure the word gets out from and through Congolese journalists about what is actually happening in the conflict zone. It's also to make sure the voices of those who are being most affected by this crisis - the average citizen - are not overlooked amidst all the coverage of geopolitical wrangling."
News from DR Congo will feature work by JHR-trained journalists in the cities of Goma, Bukavu and surrounding areas who will live blog from the streets for the next two weeks.
Contributors will focus on human rights issues, from extraordinary incidents of "popular justice," as citizens take the law into their own hands, to the impact the invasion has had on the lives of children no longer able to go to school.
"To ensure the journalists' safety, they will be publishing anonymously," explained Ms Pulfer. "Though the M23 rebels have retreated from Goma, their influence remains strong and our utmost priority is the safety and well being of the journalists working with JHR."
As the international community's attention has shifted to peace talks under way in Uganda, News from DR Congo will ensure that the voices and lives of those whose futures hang in the balance will not be overlooked.
News from DR Congo can be found at
Notes for Editors:
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is Canada's leading media development organization.
JHR was founded in 2002, and trains journalists in human rights reporting. JHR has worked in 17 African countries, and currently works in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and the DR Congo.
By training journalists, JHR builds their capacity to report ethically and effectively on human rights and governance issues. The more people are aware and free to discuss human rights, the more they will hold their governments to account, leading to improved public services, less corruption, better economic opportunities and stronger democratic processes.
JHR has trained over 12,000 journalists and journalism students. Stories produced by JHR-trained journalists have reached approximately 50 million Africans.
Stories produced by JHR-trained journalists have gotten corrupt government ministers fired (Education Minister in Liberia, 2009) sparked new laws against domestic abuse (Sierra Leone, 2012) and brought doctors to hospitals in rural areas of Liberia.
SOURCE: jhr (Journalists for Human Rights)
For further information:
For further information or to syndicate the liveblog feed, please contact:
Claire Hastings, Director of Community Engagement
firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.413.0240x206 (o) 416.836.4640(m)