Photo Credit: JHR

COVID-19 May 3 IS World Press Freedom Day

Sunday, May 3, 2020 4:11:00 PM

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, Journalists for Human Rights Announces Efforts to Battle Misinformation Globally on COVID-19 . -

Journalists for Human Rights is pivoting its resources to combat global misinformation on COVID-19. Building on the success of its Canadian misinformation training seminars, and supported by Global Affairs Canada, JHR will begin supporting accurate information on public health and COVID-19 in South Sudan, DRCongo, Mali, Kenya, and in the Middle East.

"Taking a human rights-based approach, the project will equip both journalists and citizens with skills to recognize, track and expose disinformation and misinformation campaigns" says Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights. "We are pleased to build on our Canadian project and continue this high demand work across Africa and the Middle East, because in a pandemic having access to the right information saves lives."

In Canada, JHR's project 'Fighting Disinformation through Strengthened Media and Citizen Preparedness in Canada', funded by Canadian Heritage's Digital Citizen Initiative, has trained both journalists and the general public in strategies to recognize, track and expose disinformation campaigns on social media. This project has set the foundation for the international work JHR is announcing today.

Now more than ever, debunking myths is crucial to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to health is dependent upon the realization of other human rights, including press freedom and access to information.

"Journalists are as important in these crises as health workers. We do not treat sick people or prescribe drugs for patients, but our role in giving timely, accurate, balanced information can save lives, reduce suffering, and enhance transparency and accountability of aid efforts" says Kolubah Akoi, a JHR trained journalist who reported from the frontline of the Ebola crisis in Liberia and is now covering COVID-19.

Global issues require global solutions. JHR will continue to mobilize our efforts, our expertise and our experience wherever we can to contribute in the fight against COVID- 19.

SOURCE: Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)