» UNESCO and El Salvadorian universities to introduce safety of journalists in journalism programme
04.10.2017 - UNESCO Office in San José

UNESCO and El Salvadorian universities to introduce safety of journalists in journalism programme

The UNESCO regional office for Central America in San Jose, Costa Rica and universities in El Salvador will be developing action plans aimed at integrating themes related to the safety of journalists, including digital safety into the journalisms programme and curricula, so as to better prepare future journalists to improve their own safety and to be more effective defenders of freedom of expression.

This follows the signing of the UNESCO Charter on Journalism Education and Safety of Journalists by Don Bosco University, the National University of El Salvador and the José Simeón Cañas Central American University. The three universities together account for more than 70 percent of journalism students in the country. The Charter was launched during the Regional Forum on Journalism Education and the Safety of Journalists in Honduras on 29 June 2017.

During the UNESCO-organized event, several journalism professors in welcoming the opportunity to work with UNESCO noted that many journalism students graduate without practical and theoretical knowledge to adequately address safety issues including physical threats, hacking and online harassment which are faced by journalists in the region. They also recognized the need to review the journalism curricula and programme to include many contemporary these including freedom of expression online, digital safety and gender equality in the news.

The UNESCO Charter which is being currently being reviewed by over a dozen of the largest universities in the region focuses on cooperation in many areas including developing joint activities to commemorate World Freedom Day, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and World Radio Day, capacity building for teachers, the adoption of UNESCO model curricula on journalism education, and the development of courses on journalism safety. The strengthening of relations with Universities is a key strategic component to building coalitions to promote the safety of journalists and the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

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