News from Africa

Trainings in English and French for media practitioners on the coverage of dangerous zones

Témoignages.re / 23 October 2012

Course title: Reporting on Dangerous Zones: Journalism as peace building. Organizers: African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST), Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC), African Union (AU).
Place: Addis Ababa. Date: December 10-15, 2012. Application deadline: October 31, 2012

The African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST) of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is mandated to enhance the ability of practitioners to make and implement policies that improve human security in Africa primarily through short courses and workshops. www.issafrica.org/acpst

The Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC), African Union (AU) is mandated to inform the public in general, and the African continent in particular,, about the activities of the AU in a bid to "build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force on the world stage." This mission implies solid links between the AU and actors on the African media landscape, whose responsibility it is to informthe rest of the world aboutevents happening on the continent. To help strengthen this collaboration with the media, the DIC promotes freedom of expression and access to information in an ethical and professional way while taking into account the safety and security of professionals.www.au.int

Course Description

Journalists reporting on dangerous zones plagued by violent conflicts, terrorism, transnational crime, etc. face the challenges of pursing work in ethical ways that protect life and undertaking excellent work in such difficult terrains. But work on such zones also provides journalists with an opportunity to make significant contributions to mending these societies. It also gives them an opportunity to bring a truly African perspective to their coverage of events on the African continent.

The course will focus on four broad areas. 1) Excellent reporting on dangerous zones: What are the best ways of doing investigative work in and on dangerous zones? How does one cover such zones in ways that pay enough attention to marginal and oppressed groups who are not always the bearers of the biggest arms and so do not attract as much attention to their situations? What benefits does sensitivity to marginal groups bring to the overall quality of journalism on dangerous zones? 2) Ethical reporting on dangerous zones: How does one protect sources and people covered in dangerous zones? Why and how does one seek prior, informed and voluntary consent from sources and vulnerable people covered?3) Journalism as peacebuilding and conflict prevention: What does journalism as peace building and conflict prevention mean? What danger does journalism pose to peace and human security? What are the very practical means through which journalism can be transformed also into an exercise in peacebuilding? 4) How to survive dangerous zones: What kinds of equipment are best suited for work on dangerous zones? How can one best secure her/his life and equipment when reporting on dangerous zones?

Goals: The course will seek to increase participants’ understanding of the natureof conflicts and threats on the African continent given the importance of such knowledge to ensuring deeper and better coverage. It will also enhance their skills for doing ethical and excellent journalism that contributes to peace building in dangerous zones.Further, it will help participants create networks for knowledge and information exchange on issues relating to reporting on dangerous zones.

Course participants: Journalists reporting and hoping to report on dangerous zones in Africa will be considered for participation. Practitioners whose work involves engagement with and regulation of the work of such journalists are also encouraged to apply.

Language of Instruction: English only. Participants are required to be highly proficient in English. The same course will be offered simultaneously in French. French speakers should apply for the French version of the course.

Participants’ Obligations: The receipt of a certificate is dependent on full attendance and active participation.

Costs and Funding: The ACPST can fund the participation of a few applicants including their travel, accommodation and tuition costs. Awards will be based on need and require a clear motivation in the cover letter. The ACPST will cover lunch for all applicants throughout the course.

How to Apply: Please send a short cover letter and CV with your contact information and that of two referees to Ms. Golda Kengat gkeng@issafrica.orgby November 1, 2012. Using the subject line “Reporting” will prevent your application from getting lost.Admission is on a rolling basis so apply early as the course could fill up before the deadline.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 23, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)

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