Ten Darfur journalists complete UNAMID basic radio journalism training
29 September 2008 – Participants to the first Radio Journalism Training Course organized by the Communication and Public Information Division (CPID) of UNAMID, the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, were presented certificates yesterday, after a one-month intensive training, the first in a series of Basic Radio Journalism training sessions to be conducted for Darfurians in El Fasher and Khartoum, between September and December 2008.
This training aims at building capacity for a UNAMID radio broadcast operation for Darfur, and developing local radio program content for Darfurians. It will also serves UNAMID’s efforts of promoting journalism standards in Darfur, in the service of peace, as some of the trainees who will not join UNAMID Radio will benefit local media with their newly acquired expertise. The 10 participants for this training were selected from over 1,500 applicants from North, South, and West Darfur.
After receiving their certificates, the participants presented a skit on how the people of Darfur were affected by the war and how they managed to move on with their lives.
Addressing the trainees, UNAMID Director of Communication and Public Information Division, Mr. Kemal Saiki, advised them to be information, not propaganda professionals, stressing that professional journalists goal and ambition should be to serve the people by providing them with stories that add knowledge and value to their lives. “Have in mind the interest of the people and how they can best be served, how to help them arrive at informed decisions, on the basis of better knowledge” Mr. Saiki said.
The Director stated that journalists should strive to be moral beacons and role models, and told the participants that their training provided them an opportunity to educate the people and contribute to the return of peace in Darfur, since the vast majority of people relied on the radio for daily information. “If you come across as a competent and honest voice, you will make a difference and have an impact on the lives of the people… They are listening to you not merely because of your personality, but for what you represent and what you convey.”
Drawing from his several years of public information practice, Mr. Saiki cautioned them that journalism is not an easy profession, “you could be intimidated, thrown in jail, even be physically threatened or in danger…but remember that your best protection could ultimately be your professional integrity and the quality of your work,” Mr. Saiki said.