Human Rights Education

Presenter/Author Information

Shayna Plaut, Simon Fraser University

Location

University of Dayton

Start Date

10-2-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

10-2-2015 12:00 PM

Abstract

Utilizing a mixed methods approach, we map and analyze the current state of human rights education within journalism education. We aim to answer the question: If the role of a journalist is to both “educate and inform” a citizenry in order hold those in power accountable, what kind of training does a journalist need to cover a story about human rights and how can that best be provided?

Through compiling and categorizing 627 journalism programs in eight countries, surveying 88 professional journalists and conducting in-depth interviews with 25 journalists, journalism educators, human rights practitioners and funding organizations we found an almost absolute absence of human rights education within formal journalistic institutions. In addition we noted a resistance to a human rights frame within formal educational institutions. This lack was based on financial constraints, institutional assumptions of audience interests as well as a journalist’s distrust of what they assumed to be an “advocacy angle” by human rights organizations.

With these findings we then proceed to discuss how journalists can best use their professional skills of rigor and skepticism to speak truth to power and offer suggestions for better cooperation in the journalism, human rights and philanthropic sectors.

Comments

This biennial conference provides a unique space for scholars, practitioners and advocates to engage in collaboration, dialogue and critical analysis of human rights advocacy — locally and globally. Learn more about the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton >>>.

 
Oct 2nd, 10:30 AM Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Mapping the Current State of Human Rights Education in Journalism Education (abstract)

University of Dayton

Utilizing a mixed methods approach, we map and analyze the current state of human rights education within journalism education. We aim to answer the question: If the role of a journalist is to both “educate and inform” a citizenry in order hold those in power accountable, what kind of training does a journalist need to cover a story about human rights and how can that best be provided?

Through compiling and categorizing 627 journalism programs in eight countries, surveying 88 professional journalists and conducting in-depth interviews with 25 journalists, journalism educators, human rights practitioners and funding organizations we found an almost absolute absence of human rights education within formal journalistic institutions. In addition we noted a resistance to a human rights frame within formal educational institutions. This lack was based on financial constraints, institutional assumptions of audience interests as well as a journalist’s distrust of what they assumed to be an “advocacy angle” by human rights organizations.

With these findings we then proceed to discuss how journalists can best use their professional skills of rigor and skepticism to speak truth to power and offer suggestions for better cooperation in the journalism, human rights and philanthropic sectors.