INCLUSIVE MEDIA: WHY TRAINING FEMALE JOURNALISTS MATTERS

 

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This project has come a long way. Almost two years passed from our first idea to implementation. But now we are glad to present to you: “Inclusive Media: Rethinking Journalism Conditions for Women Across the Middle East”.

We joined forces with the Jordanian media organisation Daem for Media, to create a week-long training that focuses on networking, security for female journalist, but also highlights what our participants do best: storytelling. We are joind by two trainers, Arzu Geybulla and Rula Asad, both reportes and media trainers with great expertise in this field. Our security trainer will be Alison Baskerville from TYR Solutions.

Why a training only for female journalists?

Gender-specific challenges and risk in journalism are not new to females working in the profession. But it is only now they are being debated in the industry.

In 2014 our funder, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) released a report called “Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media”. Together with “The Silencing Crime” by Lauren Wolfe, it was the first comprehensive picture of the dangers faced by women working in news around the world. In 2016 the Committee to Protect Journalists followed with their “Gender and Media Freedom Worldwide” report. It gave female colleagues a platform to describe and make sense of the harassment, rape, stalking and sexualised discrimination they have faced due to their work. We are very glad to have one of the contributors, the Azerbaijani reporter Arzu Geybulla, joining us as a trainer in Amman.

Lauren Wolfe: Sexual attacks against journalists silence the messenger and block the dissemination of news and information.

These reports mirror the conversations we had in our team, but also with colleagues from Europe and all over the Middle East and North Africa over the past two years. Many, including our coordinator, have faced sexualised violence or harassment on the job. And many feel like they cannot speak out about it, as it might damage their careers. Reporters fear they might not be send to cover “difficult” stories again. As a result they rarely report or receive follow-up counceling or treatment if needed.

Yet, gendered challenges are not limited to violence. They stretch from misogynist online comments, stalking, trolling, smear campaigns. They include male interviewees behaving inappropriate or women not being assigned certain stories because of their gender.

In conclusion, wedesigned a training that wants to create a space to speak out about such experiences. And more importantly to find prevention methods and coping mechanisms.

Special risks for freelancers

Additionally, we know first-hand that being a freelancer and making ends meet is tough. Providing sufficient security for yourself is even tougher and sometimes impossible. There are organisations, such as the Rory Peck Trust, offering security trainings for freelancers. But many young colleagues still do not have access to or knowledge about such resources. We hope, that with this training we can contribute to make the future work of our participants safer, which are mostly young freelancers or citizen journalists. Therefore we are especially glad to have the outstanding Alison Baskerville from TYR solution, as our security trainer.

Stories that matter

We want our participants to leave this training with a new security awareness, a new skill-set in risk prevention, a feeling of belonging and solidarity and the prospects of collaborating with other female reporters on stories that matter.

Consequentially participants prepare and produce stories that matter to them in Amman and in the month to follow. The story production is supported by our educational team, lead by the Italian radio journalist Daniela Sala and our Editor-in-Chief Nedim Hadrovic. Participants receive support and guidance on security-related matters regarding their stories and learn how to better pitch to news outlets.

Take part online!

We want you to benefit from this training, even if you will not be with us in Amman. So we will livestream both of our panel discussions. They are:

Monday, August 1st from 11:30 – 13:00 am EEST: “Challenges for female journalists across borders”, with Rula Asad, co-founder of the Syrian Female Journalist Network, Lina Ejeilat, Editor-in-chief of 7iber.com and Rana Sabbagh (tbc), Executive Director of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ).

Tuesday, August 2nd from 09:00 – 10:30 am EEST: “Gender, Risk and Reporting”, with Rana Husseini senior reporter at the Jordan Times; Arzu Geybulla reporter from Azerbaijan; Sara E. Williams, Jordan Correspondent for the Times.

Follow our social media for updates on the livestreams and all news related to this training.

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Inclusive Media was organised by the Inclusive Media team (former Middle East & North Africa Committee of the European Youth Press), the European Youth Press and Daem for Media. 

Inclusive Media was funded by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), the German Institute for Foreign Relations (ifa). With the pedagogical support of the Syrian Female Journalist Network (SFJN). 

 
AmmanPascale Müller