SEATINI builds capacity of journalists to report on Trade, Investment and Human Rights related matters
The media plays an increasingly important role in shaping public opinion and policy; and in reporting on issues of public interest. To play their part effectively, journalists and media need to better understand their role in promoting human rights in trade and investment policy and practice.
From 17th to 19th July 2020, SEATINI Uganda and the Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) conducted a media training that was designed to equip selected journalists/media practitioners with information and skills to adequately report on the linkages between trade, investment and human rights policy and practice to promote public interest, social inclusion, and economic justice at various levels. The training brought together 20 journalists and staff from both SEATINI and CEFROHT.
The ongoing gross human rights violations across various commercial investment schemes make it more necessary than ever that journalists and media report on the linkages between trade, investment and human rights.
In general, some journalists have limited appreciation of the linkages between trade, investment and human rights, and have thus not adequately reported on these issues. Additionally, economic and social justice issues do not get sufficient media coverage and when they do, the coverage is often lacking in depth.
To understand why sometimes there is limited reporting on public interest issues and some human rights violations, various expert led sessions were conducted and thereafter participants shared some of the difficulties facing journalism today. The journalists discussed some of the difficulties of reporting human rights issues and sound recommendations were made on how to overcome the difficulties.
The primary questions asked included;
- What is the role of the media in promoting human rights in trade and investment policy and practice?
- On what basis does the media report?
- Does the media seek out human rights and public interest stories?
The training revealed that journalists have a major role in promoting human rights and reporting on issues of public interest. This can be achieved by using the tools of analysis while reporting on various issues. These tools include; ‘‘Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive and Prescriptive.’’
During the training, journalists were urged to undertake informed reporting of events, untangle complex issues with a deeper analysis and also understand the underlying structures of power.