Regional journalists complete human trafficking, youth crime workshop

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Investigation of crime (photo: courtesy of Cottonbro)

Journalists from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago received specialized training on youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons through a collaboration between the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) and CariSECURE 2.0 – a regional project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “This training, supported by USAID Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean, underscores our commitment to promoting media freedom, professional journalism standards, and the importance of accurate reporting,” stated Mervyn Farroe, USAID Regional Representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, during the opening session on Monday.

According to Farroe, the goal of USAID, through this initiative, is to equip journalists with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to handle the complexities of crime reporting while maintaining the highest ethical standards. The intense two-day sessions covered various critical areas including ethical considerations in reporting, societal impacts, reporting techniques, legal and ethical frameworks, story structure and framing, data journalism and research, digital and multimedia reporting, storyboards, investigative journalism, and solutions journalism.

Regional media houses participating included Barbados Today, Trinidad Express, TV6 News, ABS, Guardian Media Limited, Loop News and MBC News.

Kiran Maharaj, President of the Media Institute of the Caribbean underscored the importance of such training exercises for media journalists. She stated, “This training is crucial for enhancing the capabilities of journalists, ensuring they can report on these sensitive issues with the depth and sensitivity they require.”

Sharefil Gaillard from Loop News reflected on the training, saying, “The session was very intense and eye-opening. While some components were a refresher, others were new and highly beneficial. Human trafficking and youth involvement in crime are serious issues affecting our region. As journalists, we have a responsibility to highlight these issues and relay factual information to the public, which in turn can raise awareness and help identify solutions.” Cecile Actille from MBC News added, “This training has provided invaluable insights and tools that I am eager to implement in my reporting. It’s essential to approach these topics with the care and precision they demand.”

Sheria Brathwaite from Barbados Today remarked, “It was an informative and enlightening experience. Such training is crucial for the development of young and emerging journalists in the region and offers key networking opportunities.” Briana Anthony, News Reporter at ABS Television and Radio, highlighted the interactive nature of the sessions, “The hands-on activities and real-world scenarios were particularly valuable. They not only reinforced theoretical aspects but also allowed us to apply what we learned in a controlled environment.”

The training kicked off with a virtual session on 5 June and continued this week with in-person workshops on June 10-11 in Trinidad and Tobago. The workshops, led by regional and international journalism experts and researchers, covered critical topics such as legal and ethical issues, constructive journalism, data journalism, investigative and human-interest reporting, and digital/multimedia reporting.

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