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Media and Human RIghts Education

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A discussion on the role of media in promoting and protecting human rights. Presentation made possible by Amnesty International.

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Media and Human RIghts Education

  1. 1. Media and Human Rights Education Rorie R. Fajardo Project Coordinator, Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project Amnesty International Philippines’ Training of Trainers on Human Rights Education 25 October 2008. Ciudad Christia, San Mateo, Rizal
  2. 2. Media and Human Rights Education <ul><li>Role of Media in Society </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education </li></ul><ul><li>Gaps and Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Breakthroughs </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations to Human Rights Educators </li></ul>
  3. 3. Role of Media in Society <ul><li>Fourth Estate </li></ul><ul><li>Watchdog </li></ul><ul><li>Brings news, information, and analysis on issues to public </li></ul><ul><li>Creates pressure on decision makers or law enforcers to do their jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Provides platform for discussion and feedback on issues i.e. human rights </li></ul>
  4. 4. Role of Media in Society <ul><li>‘ Protector’ of little people, especially in the countryside </li></ul><ul><li>Voice of the voiceless </li></ul><ul><li>Agents of change </li></ul>
  5. 5. Role of Media in Society <ul><li>Successful campaigns thru support of the media: </li></ul><ul><li>EDSA Peoples’ Revolt, February 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>Erap ouster, January 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Negros farmers’ campaign for land, February 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign vs. EJK, disappearances, media killings, 2007 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education Human rights advocates and journalists are linked and share the same heritage: Modern journalism came from the pamphleteers – those who wrote leaflets and papers against unjust laws in the 18 th and 19 th centuries
  7. 7. Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education Press freedom: needed to ensure all other rights in a society are respected and protected. Attacks on press freedom go hand in hand with attacks on all other freedoms and rights.
  8. 8. Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education <ul><li>Wide reach: Brings information on human rights to the biggest number of people and in the quickest manner (i.e. radio) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong impact: Reaches to peoples from all walks of life, especially those whose rights are usually violated (e.g. TV) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education <ul><li>Raises awareness on human rights (i.e. other rights apart from civil and political rights) </li></ul><ul><li>Has the ability to mobilize people to recognize and protect human rights, and bring perpetrators to justice (e.g. successive killings of activists and journalists) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Contribution of Media in Human Rights Education <ul><li>Helps monitor and improve human rights in their communities and country (e.g. Philippine Report to the UN) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Gaps and Challenges <ul><li>Media is business. </li></ul><ul><li>Human rights is seen as a ‘leftist’ issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Many journalists have little or no idea at all on human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Media gets interested only on events vs. process on human rights (e.g. war) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Gaps and Challenges <ul><li>Journalists are victims, too. (e.g. killings, threats, exploitation) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of data, expert sources on human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Media losing journalism graduates to call centers, PR or advertising firms, politicians </li></ul>
  13. 13. Breakthroughs <ul><li>Some media outlets have internal policies to ensure rights of sources or news subjects are not violated </li></ul><ul><li>Initiatives to train and support journalists for better human rights reporting and monitoring (e.g. Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Breakthroughs <ul><li>Media campaigns for right to access to information (HB 3732 or the Freedom of Information Act) </li></ul><ul><li>Media campaigns to stop journalist killings and threats </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogues with human rights organizations and implementers to improve media reporting of human rights </li></ul>
  15. 15. Recommendations <ul><li>Understand how the media works. (Reporter, Desk, Editor/Executive Producer) </li></ul><ul><li>Tap media organizations and journalists which give prominence to human rights issues. e.g. MindaNews, GMANews.TV, Bulatlat.com </li></ul>
  16. 16. Recommendations <ul><li>Continually improve your public relations/propaganda team. e.g. accurate and meaty new releases, worthy media events. </li></ul><ul><li>Tap public information programs in radio and television. (e.g. Advocacy Day on dzBB’s Bangon na Bayan with anchor Joel Reyes Zobel). </li></ul>
  17. 17. Recommendations <ul><li>Make use of the power of online media.(3.7 M Filipino online users, 16-54 years old who are online almost daily; blogging) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with media organizations to advance human rights education. (e.g. NUJP-Balai media forum on torture) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Recommendations <ul><li>Continue using alternative media e.g. newsletters, streamers, placards, flyers, wall news, email brigade. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for better media coverage on human rights issues. </li></ul>
  19. 19. American journalist Jerry Mitchell: It is time for a journalism that perseveres in spite of hostile forces. It is time for a journalism that believes in doing the right thing. It is time for a journalism that desires to help the undesirable. It is time for a journalism that never forgets the forgotten. It is time for a journalism that cares. Call it conscience journalism, if you like… Conscience journalism willing to expose the truth. Conscience journalism willing to seek justice for those who have suffered injustices. Conscience journalism willing to seek to correct the sins of our present as well as our past. Conscience journalism willing to stand up for the very people we have so long beckoned – the wretched refuse of our teeming shore.
  20. 20. www.rightsreporting.net

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