Journalists equipped to report on issues impacting children

Workshop provides practical tips to approach child rights areas

Kareem Smith
Media professionals at training workshop
Tristan Ward
22 July 2022

ANTIGUA- 22 June 2022 - Journalists from across the Eastern Caribbean are today better equipped to strengthen their reporting on issues affecting children in the sub-region. 

This is because of a joint workshop entitled Beyond COVID-19: The Children’s Story, hosted by UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area and USAID for the Southern and Eastern Caribbean, in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. 

UNICEF Communications for Development Officer Tristan Ward explained that the one-day event, which included an address from the Minister of Health of Antigua and Barbuda, featured five presentations from a range of carefully selected communications experts. 

“This workshop is especially relevant during the pandemic where children have been the quiet victims, whether in education or in relation to violence against them,” said Mr Ward.

“These are the stories we want to see coming out when these journalists return to their various media houses in their countries.”

According to Ward, many of the day’s activities focused on issues like misinformation and disinformation, which have been perennial challenges to information flows during the pandemic. 

Journalists also received new evidence-based reports that interrogate critical issues like perceptions on vaccinations. He said much of the data would be relevant even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We shared evidence with the journalists to ensure that they would be able to back up their stories and the information they put out there,” Ward explained. 

“The feedback was really positive. I think journalists are really excited to find out more about how they can really tailor their stories to focus on vulnerable groups such as children coming out of the pandemic,” he added. 

The participants hailed from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St Kitts-Nevis and St Lucia . 

Laila Langford, an employee at the Dominica Broadcasting Station, described the workshop as “inspiring”. 

“We received a lot of media tools that will assist us in presenting and providing great content on COVID-19 and children,” said the Dominican broadcaster.

“We have seen the impact of COVID-19 on our lives, but in many cases we have not heard the children and this media workshop gave us the opportunity to better understand the extent to which children have been affected and reminded us that we need to hear from them as well,” Langford added.