TORONTO — The federal government is investing millions of dollars in a project meant to improve international media coverage of human rights issues, particularly those impacting women and girls.
Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef says Ottawa will contribute $11.7 million over four years to the Canada World project led by Journalists for Human Rights.
JHR says the project will see journalists from major Canadian news outlets partner with reporters based in the Middle East, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Participating Canadian news outlets include the CBC, the National Post, Chorus/Global TV, Bell Media/CTV News, and the Aboriginal People’s Television Network.
Both the government and JHR say the program will improve journalism training in the target regions and allow local reporters to shed light on human rights abuses.
They say the program is especially geared towards covering human rights issues related to women and girls, as well as helping to boost their participation in public life.
“Women bring a unique perspective and voice to anything they do and this is no different in the media sector,” Monsef said in a statement. “When women’s voices are heard, different stories start to be told.”
Rachel Pulfer, executive director of JHR, said the Canada World initiative is the largest media development project the organization has undertaken, adding it’s attracted a uniquely deep pool of Canadian journalists to take part.
“There has never been a media development program that has harnessed such an impressive range of top media companies and minds to protect women and girls, while reinforcing Canada’s strong commitment to the freedom of the press worldwide.”
The announcement comes on World Press Freedom Day, an initiative led by UNESCO. This year’s theme involves exploring the relationship between journalism and election in an age when disinformation is increasingly prevalent.
The Canadian Press