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.