08.08.2011 - UNESCO

UNESCO supports the first multimedia training course for journalists in Haiti

Training on web journalism - © UNESCO/Mehdi Benchelah

UNESCO supported the provision of multimedia training to 26 Haitian journalists, by Groupe Médialternatif and Solidar’IT in June and July 2011 in Port-au-Prince. The goal of the training course was to build the capacity of Haitian journalists and media institutions to produce Internet multimedia content (web photo-reporting, sound portfolios and short videos) and to use new social media (Facebook, Twitter and Flickr) to disseminate information. It also included ethical issues specific to Internet journalism, particularly during electoral periods.

UNESCO considers it important to increase the professionalism of the material produced by web journalists, both technically and in terms of journalistic ethics, in view of the growing influence of the Internet on news released to Haitians. The “Arab Spring”, for example, has demonstrated the power of web-disseminated news in driving political change, democratic governance and the mobilization of society for the freedom of expression.

According to Médialternatif, at least one million Haitians in Haiti and several million living abroad have Internet access. Haitians are using the Internet for news and the media (mainly radio and newspapers) obtain a substantial proportion of their news from Internet sources.

Under this project, UNESCO also aimed to enhance Internet communication by Haiti’s institutions, as the training courses were attended by executive staff from Haitian National Radio and Television and the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The training modules, which began in early June, were spread over five days and comprised many practical exercises. They ended on 29 July 2011, when a certificate was awarded to journalists who had completed the training course.

The activity was supported by UNESCO, the Fondation de France and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as part of their support for Haitian media.

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