At its annual gala, Canada's leading media development organization
recognized journalists in Sierra Leone and Northern Ontario for their
work on human rights stories.
TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - In its eleventh year, Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), Canada's leading media development organization, celebrated its
largest event ever at Night for Rights, a celebration of human rights journalism on September 26th.
More than 300 of Canada's top journalists, media executives, business
and political leaders gathered at the Art Gallery of Ontario to
recognize the accomplishments of journalists from Sierra Leone to
Mike Metatawabin, Chair of Wawatay Native Communications Society, spoke first. He
reflected on JHR's partnership with Wawatay to train and publish
Aboriginal journalists from Northern Ontario.
"It is important for Wawatay Native Communications Society, a 100 per
cent Aboriginal owned and operated organization, to partner with
Journalists for Human Rights," explained Metatawabin. "We are proud
that this project is transferring journalism skills and the principles
of fair and balanced reporting to our communities and working to
strengthen the relationship between local aboriginal reporters and
mainstream Canadian media."
The evening also recognized Amara Bangura, a Sierra Leonean journalist and the 2013-2014 Gordon N. Fisher-JHR
Fellow at Massey College, whose career was shaped by training from JHR.
"The JHR model of training is one of the best that I received as a
journalist," Bangura said. "I would be where I am today had I not had
the opportunity to sit by JHR journalism trainers for up to eight
months each and learn from them."
Rounding out the night, journalist and JHR Sierra Leone Country Director
Yeama Thompson, spoke about JHR's work to empower female journalists and ensure
so-called 'women's' issues - health, education, gender-based violence
and child welfare - are firmly on the public agenda in her country.
"As a Sierra Leonean and former newspaper editor, I am delighted to be
here, to create awareness of and support for the work JHR is doing in
Sierra Leone, said Thompson. "This work brings lasting change by
strengthening the voices and professional capacities of journalists,
and particularly female journalists, both across my country and around
The ceremony was hosted by Dawna Friesen, Global News Anchor and Executive Editor. John Fraser, Master of Massey College, was recognized for his long-time support of
Rachel Pulfer, JHR Executive Director closed the evening with brief remarks. "This is
work that expands perceptions of what is possible - for the better,"
said Pulfer. "Working with journalists, JHR helps to open up public
space for discussion of issues - surfacing practical, local solutions
to tough problems."
JHR thanks sponsors Accenture, Global News, The Toronto Star, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Rogers, CBC News, and Scribble Live. Thanks also to CTV News, The Canadian Press, The Globe and Mail, The Donner Foundation, The Asper Family Foundation, BMO, Lerners,
Blake's, TD, High Road Communications, Steam Whistle Brewery, Derek and
Adrienne Fisher, John Honderich, Ian Delaney, Michael MacMillan and
Cathy Spoel, Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan and Massey College for their support, among many others.
Notes for Editors:
Journalists for Human Rights (www.jhr.ca ) is Canada's leading media development organization. JHR helps
journalists build their capacity to report ethically and effectively on
human rights and governance issues in their communities. Since 2002,
JHR has trained over 12,000 journalists whose stories have reached over
50 million people.
JHR currently has projects in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, and Northern Ontario.
SOURCE: jhr (Journalists for Human Rights)
For further information:
Claire Hastings, JHR's Director of Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 413 0240 ext. 206