PROJECT

New Project: Thwarting disinformation in the Caribbean

The Public Media Alliance is pleased to announce our next project, “Developing a Situation Report & Action Plan on Media and Information Literacy and Disinformation in the Caribbean”. The project aims to improve the capacity of media workers to promote media literacy and thwart disinformation.

WHO


The project is implemented by the Public Media Alliance (PMA) and our regional partners, the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM). It is supported by the UNESCO Kingston office and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC).

WHAT


The project’s final objective is to contribute towards improved media and information literacy in the Caribbean by laying the foundation for more careful reporting, fact-checking, transparency regarding media ownership, and increased regional collaboration. The project will be split across three key activities:

  • A situation report and analysis of media literacy, disinformation, and trust in news across the Caribbean. The research will cover PMA member nations in 10 Caribbean countries: The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands.
  • A two-day virtual workshop for journalists to reinforce their capacities and skills, and improve the ability of news media to promote media literacy and combat disinformation. Under the theme “Media literacy in the age of disinformation”, the workshop will be used to develop a 10-point action plan aimed at better supporting Caribbean media workers as they navigate challenges related to media literacy and disinformation. Register for the workshop here.
  • A hybrid event to discuss dis- and misinformation, media literacy, and the feasibility of a Caribbean-wide trusted news project. Developed & supported by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), this event will be held as part of CBU’s 53rd annual general assembly in Tobago, on 16 August 2022. Register for the event here.

WHY


The Caribbean has a vibrant and diverse media landscape, with rapidly developing digital services. However, mis- and disinformation have increased across the region, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and crises, posing a threat to the regional media environment, and the life and wellbeing of its citizens. Improved media and information literacy is a necessary and a pivotal way of tackling disinformation in society, along with trust in verified independent news and citizen engagement.

Meanwhile, the potential for collaboration in the Caribbean media landscape remains relatively untapped. One solution is to create a strong Caribbean-wide network of affordable and accessible sources of verified news. The project will explore the viability of cross-border collaboration for fact-checking initiatives that support media literacy and fight disinformation while improving the capacity of Caribbean media workers to promote media literacy and thwart disinformation.

WHEN & WHERE


The project will begin with the research for the situation report in June, which will run until its release in late 2022. The report will be launched virtually with our regional partners MIC & ACM.

The capacity building workshop for media professionals will be held online in July 2022. Registration will open soon for interested media workers who would like to attend the workshop.

Meanwhile, the final activity – the hybrid event – will be held both in-person and virtually as part of the annual general assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) on 16 August 2022. This event will be open to CBU members and by invitation only.


MEET OUR FACILITATORS


KIRAN MAHARAJ

Ms. Kiran Maharaj is the President and Co-Founder of the non-profit Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) headquartered in Jamaica and Founder of the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN). Ms. Maharaj’s media industry experience spans 30 years in radio, television, film, print, and events management.

Her media career began as a freelance journalist with local newspapers and CNN World Report. Today – beyond her roles at MIC and CIJN – Ms. Maharaj is the Immediate Past President of the Trinidad & Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association; a Board Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce; and the Managing Director of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications.

In 2019 she received the Woman of Courage Award, presented by the US Embassy in Trinidad. She is also a former Debates Commissioner for the T&T Debates Commission. Most recently, she led the research and authorship for UNESCO’s pilot study on Media Viability Indicators with Jamaica as the case study.

Ms. Maharaj’s current advocacy thrust is focused on creating a Caribbean-wide legislative framework for Freedom of Information Legislation as a mechanism to uphold democracy by encouraging transparency and accountability especially with regards to procurement and deployment of resources.


NAZIMA RAGHUBIR

Ms. Nazima Raghubir is a print and broadcast journalist based in Guyana. She has been in the media all her working life as a writer, reporter, managing editor and news presenter with stints at Prime News, as editor of the public affairs journal “Insight”, and as a stringer/correspondent for several regional and international news organisations.

In 2018, she became the first woman to head the now 77-year-old Guyana Press Association and in 2020 she was elected to head the Association of Caribbean Media Workers which represents national media associations across the Caribbean.

Ms. Raghubir has also authored and edited several print and multimedia productions, including a published guide to the Parliament of Guyana, documentaries covering development and human rights issues, and numerous conference presentations.

In her native Guyana, she is viewed as a reliable resource for the mentoring of new and young journalists and as a supporter of human rights.


The project is implemented by the Public Media Alliance (PMA) and our regional partners, the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM). It is supported by the UNESCO Kingston office and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC).