Media crisis management/public health workshops

The Journalism Training Program (JTP) attracted NGO members, government officials and journalists to two workshops it conducted on public health-related issues.

The first training course on Communications/Media Crisis Management drew participants from Lebanon’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs, the Hariri Foundation, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the Population and Development Strategies Project.

JTP director Magda Abu-Fadil briefed trainees during the three-day event on how to deal with the media, how to cultivate contacts, pitching stories, preparing news releases for print, broadcast and online media, setting up a digital newsroom, the role of spokespeople, media ethics, visual identity and one’s corporate image.

The second workshop on Public Health Coverage helped 15 journalists better understand health matters by focusing on health programs and who runs them, identifying local/regional/international health organizations, media ethics in covering health issues, media’s role to report or advocate health matters, medical jargon, interviewing health officials, information gathering, contact lists, covering emergencies and safety for journalists.

Journalists from Lebanon’s “Tele-Liban,” “OTV,” “Al Hayat-LBC,” “Future TV,” “New TV,” “Al Manar TV,” “Radio Free Lebanon,” dailies “Assafir,” “Sada Al Balad,” “Nahar Ashabab” and “Annajat Magazine” bombarded Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Yassine with questions on tackling emergencies and official dissemination of information.

“A very useful and effective experience that’s provided me with skills and a new way of dealing with the subject and that will undoubtedly benefit me professionally,” said Adelle Tohme, a producer for “Future TV’s” talk show “Sireh we infathet.”

Social Affairs Ministry expert Joumana Kadi spoke of the need to educate the media and society at large about reproductive health.

The daily “Sada Al Balad’s” Ali Hallawi said the workshop opened a new area for him to pursue research and write on topics that would serve society.

Both workshops, March 3-5 and March 12-14, were conducted in cooperation with AUB’s Faculty of Health Sciences.