Media and Communications Webinars

Media and Communications Webinars

The Journalists and Writers Foundation

(13 July –  24 August 2020)

The Journalists and Writers Foundation will organize Media and Communications Webinars for university and college students to promote and strengthen media ethics and the role of media in democracy. The seminars aim to provide young professionals with hands-on experience to monitor, report, and write news articles that raise awareness on freedom of speech and expression, press freedom, access to public information, and media ethics. 

The Media and Communications Webinars aim to strengthen the state of media freedom and promote the right to access information, knowledge, and data which will strengthen democratic values. The purpose of this series is to create a platform to empower young professionals and undergraduate students of journalism, media, and communication studies by engaging them with experienced journalists to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. 

Over the course of the seminars, the participants will develop in-depth understanding on how the media contributes to democracy and sustainable development in the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 globally.

Format

The webinars will be held once a week via Zoom video conference. Media and communication professionals will discuss selected topics through an interactive dialogue with the participants. Students will have a chance to engage with one another and exchange ideas on diverse topics and share multiple perspectives.

The Media and Communications Webinars consists of 6 main topics on journalism including perspectives from multiple disciplines of social, economic, and political development. Each topic will be presented by a journalist and/or a professional who is an expert in their respective fields. 

The topics are as follows

  1. Freedom to Access Information 
    1. Advocating for the right to freedom of information, particularly for accessing public information
    2. Challenges of implementing laws on the freedom to access information 
    3. Impact of blocking internal portals and social media platforms on the society 
    4. Role of civil society in right to Information laws reform and practice 
  2. Editorial Independence (censorship, self-censorship)
    1. The limitations that economic dependence on the private sector advertising brings to the editorial independence 
    2. Building trust and remaining unique through editorial independence
    3. Political and economic reasons leading to self-censorship
  3. Role of Digital Media in Society
    1. Digital media’s impact on political institutions
    2. Impact and pressure on news outlets to get maximum coverage
    3. Development of communication skills, and worldwide accessibility
  4. Economic Freedom of Media
    1. Government clampdown on free media outlets/ purchasing media outlets 
    2. A free and open market is critical to maintaining the ideals of liberty and democracy 
    3. Governments’ control of the Media though financial measures that threaten freedom of the press

  5. Citizen Journalism
    1. How can we ensure media ethics in citizen journalism and avoid myths, lies, and mistakes? 
    2. Comparative analysis between mainstream journalism and citizen journalism: Challenges and Opportunities
    3. Citizen journalism as a new tool for protests and giving a voice of the public 
  6. Media Ethics
    1. Comparison between traditional journalism and online journalism
    2. Speed, rumor and corrections in online journalism
    3. Development of social media guidelines that allow reporters to explore the new media world but also limit personal commentary 
    4. How Traditional Media Combats Fake News and ensures fact check?
    5. Strengthening Local Media and Civil Society; Roles of civil society organizations in influencing and scrutinizing media

After the seminars, participants will expand their spectrum in journalism 

  • To protect and promote human rights
  • To support the right to access information through independent media outlets
  • To strengthen democratic norms and values
  • To improve transparency and accountability in media and government relations
  • To strengthen civil organizations` role in promoting freedom of expression
  • To support democracy in political processes and institutions

Outcomes

  • Participants will learn from the practical knowledge of presenters as their mentors 
  • Participants will have access to a network of media professionals including journalists and experts
  • Participants will publish a news article at the end of the webinars 
  • Participants’ articles will be published on various websites and portals 
  • Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion of the webinars successfully