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Learning Rights to Make a Difference

Drik in partnership with Internews Network trained 17 Bangladeshi journalists to learn new skills and examine in depth the special role accurate, fair and professional reporting and analysis play, in upholding human rights and supporting the peaceful resistance to human rights abuses.

Seventeen mainstream Bangladeshi journalists received certificates of accomplishment at an awards ceremony at Drik Picture Library on the 11 August following the successful completion of human rights training titled Learning Rights to Make a Difference. The aim was to train and build a group of journalists with a sound understanding of the elements of human rights laws so they may effectively and accurately draw attention to human rights issues in the country. “Through a collaborative, self critical process, which set aside territorial boundaries, journalists put together powerful stories that went beyond their commercial interests and addressed concerns of the disenfranchised,” observed Shahidul Alam, Managing Director of Drik. Chief Guest at the awards ceremony was Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh and the Guest of Honour was Mr. Nurul Kabir, Editor, New Age.

Monirul Alam of Prothom Alo Newspaper talks about his project on drug addiction. Photo (c) Saikat Majumder/DrikNews

Monirul Alam of Prothom Alo Newspaper talks about his project on drug addiction. Photo (c) Saikat Majumder/DrikNews

Journalists play an important role as both, providers of information to the public and as a resource for human rights defenders demanding accountability from all those who wield power in the public and private domain. Journalists’ right to information and the right to report are the lifeblood of their profession. However, reporting on human rights issues that plague any country is a formidable task for many. Commenting on the threats faced by journalists Alam said “Those in power need to see Human Rights as a tool for governance and not as an impediment. For vigilant journalists this applies not only to the ones they police, but also to their own mode of practice.”

Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul the CEO of Boishakhi Television, giving feedback to the participants as Shahidul Alam (centre) and Rezaur Rahman (right) of Drik look on. Photo: (c) Saikat Majumder/DrikNews

Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul the CEO of Boishakhi Television, giving feedback to the participants as Shahidul Alam (centre) and Rezaur Rahman (right) of Drik look on. Photo: (c) Saikat Majumder/DrikNews

Drik as a premier visual media communication provider and an organization committed to social justice, has always aspired to make Bangladesh a country where people can exercise their right to express dissent peacefully, where information will flow freely and where knowledge and skills needed for individuals to attain their full potential are made available.

Facilitator Sanaiyya Ansari with participants of workshop. Photo (c) Habibul Haque/DrikNews

Facilitator Sanaiyya Ansari with participants of workshop. Photo (c) Habibul Haque/DrikNews

The first part of the course from 19-21 July was instructional which used creative, interactive teaching methods, including presentations and discussion by guest lecturers and exchanges with human rights defenders, activists as well as victims. During the second part of the programm  the participants were assigned to report on human rights issues under the supervision of trainers and mentors. The final part of the training was a review program on 8-9 August where the assignments were openly evaluated by the trainers, mentors and the participants themselves.SanaiyyaFaheem Ansari, Senior Deputy Director, Gender and Social Justice, Ain o Salish Kendra was the Lead Trainer.

Freelance photojournalist Prito Reza (left), Monirul Alam of Prothom Alo (centre) and Ahmed Rezwanul Zaki of Independent Television watching Prito's photo essay on access to health services. Photo: (c) Qamruzzaman/DrikNews

Freelance photojournalist Prito Reza (left), Monirul Alam of Prothom Alo (centre) and Ahmed Rezwanul Zaki of Independent Television watching Prito's photo essay on access to health services. Photo: (c) Qamruzzaman/DrikNews

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