“ NIRIJ” Investigative Journalism Network participated in the closing ceremony for announcing the prizes for the “Open Eye” competition for citizen Journalism, which was organized via the internet on June 18, , by the German Media Foundation “MiCT” and the International Organization for Migration, by presenting a paper on “The Role of Media Education” in light of the growing influence of Social Media.
The ceremony, which was attended by international trainers, managers of Media institutions and academics, came at the end of the first phase of the “Media Education” project, in which about 80 Journalists participated, with the support of the International Organization for Migration, which focuses on supporting citizen Journalism in four Iraqi cities that have faced difficult conditions: Najaf, Tal Afar, Mosul and Sinjar.
The participants in the training, most of them citizen Journalists and civil activists, received intensive training over the course of four months on the principles of Media work under the title “Media around us: How to understand it and how to produce it?”
Two Journalists from NIRIJ (Saman Noah and Ali Iyad) had contributed to the conclusion of part of the project’s training program and also contributed to its training, which included various axes, including ethical Journalism and conflict sensitivity, the legal environment for Journalism, and mobile Journalism.
At the beginning of the ceremony, writer and academic Dr. Iradah Al-Juboury, who teaches at the College of Media at the University of Baghdad, presented an intervention on citizen Journalism and their pursuit as academics to develop that type of Journalism in universities ,because of its great role in society, pointing to her own participation in many discussion panels and events that aim to develop the tools for that type of Journalism and enable it to adhere to the provisions of professional writing.
During the ceremony, a research paper was presented by NIRIJ Network on citizen Journalism and misleading news, in which reference was made to the role of Media education in confronting fake news by training activists and citizen Journalists and educating the public.
Emphasis was placed on the foundations adopted to confront misleading press materials, starting with verification through digital programs, questioning what is published by following up the facts, logical analysis, verifying the source, returning to the main source and resorting to more than one source before publication, and ending with exposing false stories, confronting them with facts and pursuing them with laws.
Ali Iyad, from the ” NIRIJ” network, said that the program, which was presented within months through direct and on-line workshops, actually constitutes a comprehensive training guide for citizen Journalism as well as for Journalists who are at the beginning of their Journalistic work, and that the article on Journalism that takes into account conflict sensitivity and work ethics prepared by ” NIRIJ” is a detailed, comprehensive, and essential material for every Iraqi Journalist.
During the training, participants produced a set of written, audio and video reports that addressed issues related to their societies, such as challenges to societal peace and coexistence, Social and economic problems, the historical and cultural legacy of each city, and the personal experiences of people living in those cities.
During the ceremony, the names of the winners of the three best works from each city were announced, and the project would continue to other stages, especially as the number of applicants wishing to participate in the announced workshops approached 3,000 people from the targeted areas.