28.06.2012 - Communication & Information Sector

Journalists encouraged to promote the importance of cultural heritage preservation

UNESCO presentation at the Media to Communicate Heritage Course in Havana - © UNESCO

The opening ceremony of the Second International Diploma Course “Media to Communicate Heritage” was held at the University College San Gerónimo de La Habana in Havana, Cuba, on Monday 18 June 2012.

The Course, which was first held in 2011, aims to highlight the importance of communication in raising public awareness of the need to promote and preserve cultural heritage. During the sessions, 30 Cuban journalists and 9 communication professionals from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico and the Dominican Republic will be brought up to speed on the traditional and non-traditional means used to communicate heritage values.

The UNESCO Havana Office, the International Institute of Journalism José Martí, the Union of Journalists of Cuba and the Office of the Historian of Havana collaborated to organize this Course, which ends on 6 July.

“One of the priorities of our Organization, is to provide journalists with the necessary training on specific topics with the objective of having adequate media coverage based on the need to understand the critical role played by communication and information in shaping citizenship awareness and the construction of consensus in current societies,” said Herman van Hooff, Director of the UNESCO Havana Office, in the opening speech.

In highlighting the importance of the Course, Van Hooff said that conservation of the various forms of cultural heritage is an important factor in sustainable development, social cohesion, dialogue and peace, and is therefore a core mandate of the Organization.

Other officials in attendance at the opening ceremony include Antonio Moltó, director of the International Institute of Journalism José Martí, Magda Resik, director of Communication of the Office of the Historian of Havana, Dr. Félix Julio Alfonso, vice-dean of the University College San Gerónimo de La Habana, Isabel Viera, National Professional Officer for Communication and Information at the UNESCO Havana Office and Dr Hilda Saladrigas from the School of Communication of the University of Havana.

In the last five years, the UNESCO Havana Office collaborated with national and international partners to implement a series of capacity building activities for communication professionals in the region. These activities covered a wide range of thematic areas including gender equality, HIV and AIDS, climate change and environmental issues.

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