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Handbook on media advocacy for marginalized groups presented to stakeholders in China

On 27 August 2021, UNESCO officially introduced to the public a new publication titled Making Yourself Heard/Getting Your Message Across: A Handbook for Civil Society Organizations.
 
The Handbook was presented to over 40 people representing organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), NGOs, embassies, private sector partners and social enterprises, as well as UN agencies, at the meeting of the United Nations Theme Group on Disability (UNTGD).

Ms. Xu Bin, Co-Director of Common Language, was invited to the UNTGD meeting, and presented the Handbook and outcomes of the media campaigns organized by the CSOs who have benefited from the Handbook.

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Ms. Xu Bing introducing the Handbook at the UNTGD meeting

Figure 2 Ms. Xu Bing introducing the Handbook at the UNTGD meeting

Commissioned by the Media Diversity Institute, developed under the UNESCO Project “Toward Inclusion: Strengthening the Capacity of Chinese Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to Advocate for Marginalized Groups through increased Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and Skills”, the Handbook aims to promote a better understanding of the media agenda among the CSOs and to present effective advocacy strategies.

 

With its original English version authored by Mr. Mike Jempson, Honorary Director of the MediaWise Trust, and Chinese case studies written by Ms. Li Jun, Associate Professor from Shantou University, the Handbook encompasses practical guidance accompanied with globally and locally relevant case studies concerning the situations and problems CSO may encounter when dealing with the media, from making the first contact, writing press release, to conducting interviews and campaigning, from setting up media strategy and policy to understanding advocacy and communication ethics.

Representing the project beneficiaries, Ms. Peng Yujiao and Ms. Pan Meihao from Beijing Enable Sister Center (BEST) introduced their media campaign – “Stories of women with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic”. As part of the campaign, from February to May 2020, a total of 28 interview articles have been published on BEST Wechat Account, covering stories of 28 women with different types of disabilities from across China. As of May 2020, the story series has received over 10,000 views from the community and general public. Over 300 women with disabilities have participated in the discussion inspired by the storytelling. They provided solid feedback on the challenges women with disabilities have faced during the pandemic. In response to their expressed needs, BEST carried out an online project named “Warm Heart Package”, which have supported a total of 161 women with disabilities by providing them with healthcare supplies during lockdown periods.

The Handbook is now openly accessible to the public, available for free download at:

https://a0e7b183-39a9-4a16-8705-47936cfbc202.filesusr.com/ugd/81d148_a49a390bee8a440bb37dfded0a264d65.pdf.

 

For more information about the UNESCO Project “Toward Inclusion: Strengthening the Capacity of Chinese Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to Advocate for Marginalized Groups through increased Media and Information Literacy and Skills”, please visit: https://towardinclusion.com.

The UN system in China is committed to supporting more people, particularly the marginalized and disadvantaged, including persons with disabilities, to enjoy improved living conditions and increased opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. As a member of the UN Country Team, and Chair of the UN Theme Group on Disability in China, UNESCO works towards building the capacity of journalists, media professionals, and CSOs in reporting and advocating for persons with disabilities and other marginalized group in a human rights-based manner.

 

UNESCO promotes Media and Information Literacy (MIL) as key competencies for life-long learning, work, and in all aspects of life. Citizens equipped with MIL competencies are informed, engaged and empowered, and are able to understand the dangers of disinformation, as well as the spiral of hatred and exclusion. Empowering citizens, in particular youth, the elderly and marginalized groups with MIL competencies lets more voices be heard, and enables digital inclusion and enhanced opportunities for their social inclusion.