This month’s highlights
JHR in 2017
From L to R:, Reem Haleb and JHR Senior Program Manager Zein Almoghraby at Night for Rights, Freddy Mata of JDH DRCongo receives the “Exemplary Partner” for Canada 150 Award from Canadian Ambassador Ginette Martin, Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, Lisa LaFlamme and Masai Ujiri at Night for RIghts, Fisher Fellow Esther Ngodo, the Toronto Star publishes JHR’s South Sudan story, JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen at Night for Rights, Justin Morris shows what the Indigenous Reporters Program has meant to him, JHR certificate ceremony in Jordan.
JHR’s 15th year. And what a year it has been.
This was the year that JHR launched our most powerful and timely program yet: JHR Syria.
JHR worked with brave and powerful journalists across Syria’s diaspora. Consider Reem Haleb. Haleb took a bullet for her efforts to cover a protest in 2011. She converted her shock and anger into a youth radio station, Nasaem Syria.
It was the year JHR launched the JAMLab, an incubator/accelerator programme at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa for African media entrepreneurs – a first on the African continent. At the end of the year, three of six teams got funded.
It was the year that JHR South Sudan, led by Emmanuel Tombé and with able support from Laura Bain and Mustapha Dumbuya, launched the first regional media conference in East Africa, with a focus on protecting journalists.
And it was the year that JHR worked to celebrate Indigenous voices, through launching an Emerging Indigenous Reporters conference and inaugural prize. We also worked to institutionalize change to the way reporters covered Indigenous stories, Canada-wide. The results: the Emerging Indigenous Reporters Award, a partnership with the Canadian Association of Journalists, and the JHR Indigenous Style Guide – a guide to best practices of covering Indigenous stories in contemporary Canada.
Through creative partnerships with Global News, the Toronto Star and the National Post, JHR was able to publish stories of impact from across West, Francophone and East Africa, the Middle East and northern Canada, in the lead up to our biggest and best gala yet – a blow-out 15th anniversary celebration of all things JHR and during which Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire emphasized the crucial role of journalists during conflicts.
In 2017 JHR also launched a new wave of Expert Trainers – top Canadian journalists, managers and expert talent – who have taken up the challenge of working with and through our programs to give their skills and expertise back to the global good. Star participants in this programme included Ian Koenigsfest of RTDNA Canada, Julian Sher of the Fifth Estate, Malcolm Kirk of the Canadian Press and Mike Omelus of Global News.
We asked trainers, staff and Board members to describe what it is like to contribute to JHR in 2017. Here’s how Ian Koenigsfest responded.
“Amongst the mounting level of despair and helplessness in South Sudan I experienced an awakening amongst the many media professionals I had the pleasure of working with during my trips to Juba in 2017. This … was triggered by the realization that these incredibly brave and talented journalists have the skills to be the very best storytellers, program hosts, and reporters in their country. JHR is providing essential tools to accompany the skills to help further their technical and managerial knowledge base.”
“Journalists for Human Rights is certainly mobilizing media and changing lives where it is needed most. The outcomes are seismic and the impact will be generational.”
None of this work would be possible without you, our committed community of supporters, alumni and donors.
In the waning hours of 2017, consider the impact JHR could have in the New Year.
Help us make our $15,000 goal — at $11,780 raised in three weeks, we are now so, so close ! — and consider making a contribution towards mobilizing media to change lives – worldwide.
On behalf of the Board, Staff and Programs at Journalists for Human Rights
JHR Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan, South Africa, South Sudan, and Syria
To find out more about JHR’s Mobilizing Media campaign to Give Youth A Voice and why it matters, read on, and check out this link.
Mobilizing Media to Give Youth A Voice This Holiday Season!
Leslie Spence of Webequie First Nation
This Holiday Season join JHR and Give Youth A Voice. We need your help. We’re raising awareness and funds to empower young people in Canada and around the world to speak up, tell their stories and have their voices heard. Right now we are at 11,780 of our $15,000 goal! Help us pass our goal!
With support from JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program, Leslie Spence set up a youth radio programme and Emilee Gilpin found a job after her JHR internship.
Watch CTV’s Bill Fortier’s work with young Syrian journalists here, read about Nour Ezz Addin who reported on torture in Jordan, and find out more about the South African media entrepreneurs with inspiring ideas on reaching youth, women and township dwellers here.
We’re asking you to join in the spirit of this international day of giving and make a donation. Any amount will help. For $25, $50, $100, $500 – you can be part of this powerful movement for change. You can donate here!
Ask your family and friends to join us – and help us help young people find their voice, their vocation – and make a real difference to their lives.
Thank you, as always, for your support!
Three out of six JAMLab teams win funding
JHR ´s Rachel Pulfer, Hannah Clifford and the JAMLab teams
For 15 years, JHR has worked around the world to ensure reporters and citizen journalists have the skills they need to objectively and effectively report on issues affecting their communities and hold duty bearers accountable — especially young, emerging journalists.
JHR has seen that an independent media is only possible when it is able to sustain itself. This is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s disrupted & digital age. To consider new ideas in media JHR launched, in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand and Ryerson University, the Journalism and Media Lab (JAMLab) this year.
Six teams of young South African journalists and media entrepreneurs worked to imagine new ideas in media, how to reach new audiences and, sustain themselves. Read more here.
UNIFOR will not stand on the sidelines
JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer sat down with UNIFOR head Jerry Dias to talk Syria, human rights and more.
Q: You’re busy with NAFTA negotiations, yet still found time to attend our annual gala and donated $10,000 to our Syria programme. What inspired you to do that?
A: The incredible work that our members do who are journalists – we have a natural affinity for organizations that pay attention to media and the work you do hits very close to home. It is also in line with our own social justice work. So we wanted to send a clear message of support to the families we are supporting in Jordan and the families we brought over from Syria. You are working on these big global questions and that is where we also see a fit.
Q: How do you see our work helping the situation in Syria?
A: Think about the incredible work journalists are doing, reporting on Syria, reporting on atrocities, taking their lives in their hands. These people deserve ALL our support.
Q: How is this work in line with UNIFOR’s philosophy of giving back?
A: We are an organization with a soul, and we will continue to develop that part of our identity – we want to be asking ourselves constantly: what can we do, now, in the community, nationally and internationally to help. We have members whose families are directly implicated and deeply impacted by all of this. We cannot just sit back and stay on the sidelines – as a union we are doing everything we can for our Syrian families and our members who are journalists. Supporting Journalists for Human Rights is part of that.
Free Media Creates a Better Society: JHR’s East Africa regional conference
The conference gathered journalists from across the region
On December 13 and 14 JHR held its first East Africa Regional conference that focused on the increasing threats against journalists and censorship.
Under the banner ‘a free media creates a better society’ media professionals from South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda met in Nairobi to share their experiences but also their suggestions on how to combat intimidation, avoiding being muzzled and how to better interact with civil society organizations and government agencies.
The participants really enjoyed the interactive panel discussions which JHR broadcasted live on Facebook. Through the talks, it was apparent journalists are facing very similar challenges across Eastern Africa. And the takeaway was that there is a lot of opportunities to collaborate and help each other out.
The nearly 40 participants agreed to commit to creating a working group where journalists from each of the four countries can share information, tips and offer each other support. JHR aims to expand the network further to journalists working in other countries from the region.
Have a look at JHR South Sudan’s Facebook page and watch a video of the conference here.
Meet Ala El Fellah, Program Assistant and translator for JHR’s Syria program
Ala El Fellah
What is your background and what is your current position within JHR?
I accomplished my Bachelor degree in the International institute of higher education in Morocco, in Marketing & Communications, it broadened my horizon toward humanitarian work and media development in NGOs. From North Africa to Europe, I worked 5 years with the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, building professional skills in the field of digital communications, research and project management. Followed by a master degree in Governance and Policy Development, I wanted to evolve in the media domain, and focus on peace promotion and human rights issues in the most conflicted regions. I joined JHR recently, as a Program Assistant for the “Syria program”.
What is your role?
I assist in the program in general and work on the coordination, interpretation, and translation of the Syrian media material as a scope.
What is the goal that you want to reach with this project for JHR?
I would like to gain experience in both local and global media editorial work, and being in between is – I believe – an interesting spot to stand, especially from a JHR perspective. You get the chance to compare, analyze and complete the missing pieces.