JOURNALISTS WORKSHOP FOR CREATING INTERFAITH HARMONY

In Indonesiaby

11Feb2016
12Feb2016

At rastagi, Karo

The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation and The Journalists Association for Diversity (SEJUK) involves in a series of celebrationss and campaigns on the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) 2016. In the second week of February, SEJUK campaigned the interfaith harmony spirit among mass media and journalists by conducting journalist Workshop on “Reporting Diversity Issue was the second activity in the series of WIHW campaigns in various countries in the first week of February in an effort to create common ground pushing interfaith harmony and peaceful thoughts and actions. The Asia Foundation and The Journalists Association for Diversity (SEJUK) involves in a series of celebrationss and campaigns on the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) 2016. In the second week of February, SEJUK campaigned the interfaith harmony spirit among mass media and journalists by conducting two workshops. The workshops, which cooperated with The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Medan chapter, targeted mass media and journalists in North Sumatra and Aceh. First activity was In-House Workshop held in Tribun Medan daily on Feb. 10. Tribun Medan is part of Kompas Gramedia national media group and the largest in term of circulation in the province. Besides publishing printed, the daily also issues online edition. Through the in-house workshop, SEJUK supported Tribun Medan to develop news that respect differences and sensitive towards victims of religious based violence and discrimination and violence. Here is the information on the activity: Journalist Workshop on “Reporting Diversity Issue was the second activity in the series of WIHW campaigns in various countries in the first week of February in an effort to create common ground pushing interfaith harmony and peaceful thoughts and actions. The workshop was conducted at Sibayak Hotel Berastagi, North Sumatra on Feb. 12 -13 and attended by journalists from the North Sumatera province (16 journalists) and Aceh (11 journalists) who working for printed, broadcast and online media. Resource person in the workshop Dr. Budy Munawar-Rachman called on Journalists to avoid exclusivity and develop inclusivity over differences on religions and beliefs. The journalists should determine that vulnerable groups, such as women, children and religious minorities could get protection from the state. Relating to the first resource person, Daniel Awigra of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) discussed a topic on “Human Rights and Religious Freedom and Believe” and emphasized on the importance for journalists and media to uphold criticism. Awigra asked the participants to increase their role to watch and warn the government on its obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights and freedom of its citizens, including religious freedom. Meanwhile, Yunianti Chuzaifah of the National Commission on Anti-Violence against Women, revealed facts on how conflicts and religious based violence have impacted mostly on women and children. The chairwoman of the commission for 2010-2014 term urged mass media and journalists to listen to the voices of the victims. “Media should use diction or language which do not stigmatize, harassing, as well as growing intolerance and discrimination,” she added. Another resource person in the workshop which was supported by The Asia Foundation and the Tifa foundation, Usman Kansong, the news director of Media Indonesia daily, assured journalists of North Sumatra and Aceh to be able to uphold journalistic principles that respect diversity in the society, especially religions and beliefs. Meanwhile, Veryyanto Sitohang, pluralism activist, who advocate victims of prosecution of churches in Singkil, Aceh, revealed facts, chronology Journalist workshop on reporting diversity issue 18 and update information on the case. Usman and Veriyanto similarly mapped and indentified diversity facts in North Sumatra and Aceh, hoping that journalists to take more concern to create interfaith harmony in their journalistic works. In the last session, Ade Armando, communication expert from the University of Indonesia, explained the ethical and operational principles in reporting diversity issues. Ade viewed that conflicts and violations on religious freedom was a serious matter, instead of just usual news. “Reporting conflicts and human rights violations is not enough with only applying cover both sides principle, but journalists should select resource persons that do not justify the continuation of violence and should give more space to resource persons who support peace,” he said.

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