Journalists for Human Rights supports Syrian media
Journalists for Human Rights Launches Project to Strengthening an Independent Syrian Media Sector
Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is delighted to announce the launch of its newest program: a two-year pilot project working with Syrian journalists, supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
The project, based in Turkey, will help build the skills and strengths of these journalists and ensure the sustainability of a selected number of independent Syrian media outlets. The training of journalists is designed to foster inclusive and informed public dialogue on human rights, while countering hate speech.
The project will also work with media managers to help build sustainable business plans so they can work independently and create opportunities for public dialogue on human rights and democracy.
The Syrian Arab Republic, in civil conflict since 2011, has not enjoyed a free media in decades. Media outlets exist in an atmosphere of harassment and fear. A strong and free media is critical to act as an independent referee between the state and the broad society and for the public to be freely informed.
“The long-term goal of JHR’s program with Syrian journalists,” says JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer, “is to help Syrian journalists help themselves, and put them in a position to financially sustain quality independent journalism in Syria and for their diaspora – long after the current conflict has ended. These journalists are courageous and undeterred, even after all they have seen and lived with, to continue reporting on human rights stories in Syria.”
“The media sector in Syria is traumatized, weak, fragmented – and severely constrained in its capacity,” says Zein Almoghraby, program designer. “Most outlets exist at the whim of international financing, with few long term strategies in place to sustain their work.”
The project is designed to address this problem directly through helping media outlets expand their audience share and revenue base.
JHR trainers will also work with Syrian journalists to enhance their skills to produce unbiased, and accurate news stories on human rights, democracy and governance issues, including the use of data journalism tools and new technology.
At a time when the need for strengthening journalists’ ability to do their job is greater than ever, Journalists for Human Rights (www.jhr.ca) works both at home in Canada and abroad to train journalists to report on human rights issues ethically and effectively. This work ensures human rights issues stay in the headlines, fosters a culture of accountability and catalyses positive change.
This project targets the Syrian Network of Print-Media (snpsyria.org), a media alliance that includes seven independent Syrian newspapers and magazines. The network works to coordinate efforts among the media outlets through exchanging journalism and professional experiences in order to empower Syrian independent media.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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