Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Philippine Project Acclaimed

Web-based human rights reporting initiative nominated for major new media award.
By IWPR

IWPR’s first foray into Asia, the Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project (http://www.rightsreporting.net/), has just been short-listed in the New Media category of the 2009 One World Media Awards.

The web-based project aims to develop better understanding, awareness and advocacy of human rights among the Philippine print and broadcast media, in order to help to educate and influence society at large.

It is a creative partnership between IWPR and three local media support and development groups - the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, NUJP, the Center for Community Journalism and Development, CCJD, and Mindanews, a co-operative news agency based in the south of the country.

Since launching the website in January 2007, we have commissioned and published well over 100 stories, reports, blogs and special investigations in print, audio and video formats: these have been widely republished in more than 40 national and international media, including the two leading Philippine TV network websites GMA-TV and ABS-CBN. Stories have also been cited by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, the BBC and others.

Our reporting has evolved out of more than 30 training workshops delivered across the country to more than 350 print, radio and TV journalist. The project’s human rights reporting and training has so far focused on practical issues such as poverty reporting; investigating enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings; as well as giving a voice to marginalised and under-represented groups in society.

We have also initiated and organised several television and radio debates on human rights reporting and so far hosted nine public round tables drawing together editors, publishers and journalists with members of civil society, academia, congress and the diplomatic community.

Alan Davis, IWPR’s Director of Special Projects, who conceived, developed and leads the project, said, “The Philippines is a wonderful country but its people deserve so much more.

“Greater human rights protection and accountability lie at the very heart of the challenges facing the country and what needs putting right. We aim to build better understanding that human rights is critical for the development and protection of a free and fair society.”

The Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project is funded through until June this year by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

The winner of the One World New Media award will be announced in London next month at an event to be televised by BBC News and hosted by the broadcast journalist Jon Snow.

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