Upcoming UNESCO, Public Media Alliance and Ethical Journalism Network workshop to develop action plan on hate speech, terrorism and violence coverage for the Caribbean Region

When | 10-11 August 2018  Where | Kingston, Jamaica

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, however the emergence of multiplatform communication has seen an increase in the dissemination of hate speech.

The media plays a crucial role in influencing the public perception of certain groups or minorities, such as migrant and refugee populations, and therefore need to provide accurate, well researched and objective reporting and analysis. However, this is not always the case as both deliberate and unintentionally negative portrayals are often found in the media, which can detrimentally impact people’s views of these communities.

Hate speech presents major challenges to today’s journalism. It is alarming how rapidly hate-filled messages seep into and overwhelm website comment sections and social media.

It is alarming how rapidly hate-filled messages seep into and overwhelm website comment sections and social media

We need to discuss and address journalists’ own professional procedures, including how news is defined and how this can at times amplify the voices of hate propagandists’. Hate speech and polarisation negatively affects vulnerable groups, and can hamper political and socio-economic developments.

Media and journalists play a crucial role in influencing both policymaking and societal opinion. As hate speech and stereotypes target different ethnic groups, religions and refugees proliferate across the world, balanced and fair media reporting is needed more than ever. Despite some good journalism practices and courageous journalists speaking out against hate, additional training and resources for media professionals and media organisations are needed for them to uphold ethical standards when reporting sensitive subjects.

This PMA workshop, carried out in collaboration with the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and the Ethical Journalism Network, will take place on the 10-11 August 2018, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel prior to the Public Media Alliance Global Conference (13 August 2018) in Kingston, Jamaica.

Senior managers, news media professionals and CEO’s from across the Caribbean will be invited to take part in the workshop to produce a regionally relevant action plan on hate speech, including best procedures for covering terrorism and violence for the region.  The Ethical Journalism Network will partner with PMA on this workshop and the lead trainer will be Dr. Zahera Harb, a distinguished journalist who worked as a journalist for local and international news organisations in Lebanon for over 11 years. Harb is currently senior lecturer in International Journalism at City, University of London andin 2015, was appointed to Ofcom’s content board. She is also a member of the Ethical Journalism Network’s Board of Trustees.

The workshop will:

  • Encourage conflict sensitive reporting:  Journalists will learn conflict sensitive reporting skills. How to create awareness that emphasises knowledge about and respect for the diversity of cultures and traditions.
  • Explore how to regulate social media in relation to Hate speech without revoking the right to freedom of expression.
  • Discuss ending impunity against hate crimes by establishing monitoring and evaluation units in newsrooms.
  • Develop an action plan to implement within media organisations; to challenge and address news stories relating to hate speech.
  • The workshop will conclude with a half day workshop on hostile environment & first aid media training.

The final part of the workshop will be a highly practical session from our partners Lazarus who specialise in First Aid training for media worldwide.

This is an invitation only workshop.

Our thanks to the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and PMA partners, the Ethical Journalism Network, for their partnership and input.


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