The Journalism and Public Information Programme on New Threats during the Covid-19 Pandemic aims at enhancing the capabilities of journalists and public information professionals in the areas of justice, crime prevention and security.
The programme intends to promote reliable and responsible public information given the crucial role played by media in influencing policies and civil society development.
In recent times, the problems generated by misleading, biased, overly simple, or false information have been amplified. This is due to intentional misinformation and propaganda.1 These problems may also arise because the new and emerging threats are complex and technical, requiring specialist knowledge to understand. These threats are constantly evolving, and thus require that media professionals receive recurrent training to stay well informed and expand the network of reliable sources. Meanwhile, technological changes in media consumption have amplified the potential reach of misinformation. This is particularly true when we think of the negative impacts of extremist propaganda or the dissemination of intentionally false information spreading directly to the public via social media.
New threats have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic requiring more expertise and awareness. The pandemic and the resulting crisis are posing unprecedented global challenges to public health, social well-being and the economy. The pandemic has been exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities. During this emergency, as national resources are being directed towards urgent public health measures, it is important to identify and address additional risks exposure.
One of the key challenges Member States is facing relates to non-state actors (including criminal, extremist and terrorist groups) that are taking advantage of the crisis to jeopardize the efficacy of governments’ responses, as well as undermining the safety of citizens through a wide spectrum of criminal activities. It is very likely that these corrosive criminal actions will not be limited to the present crisis but will continue during its aftermath.
During this specialised course, participants will gain in-depth knowledge on such emerging threats and how to report about them accurately through learned methods of prevention. Moreover, participants will gain effective skills relating to digital tools and good practices that will enable them to protect their information and their sources while exercising freedom of expression on the Internet.
The specialised courses are conducted by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in cooperation with The Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Caricom IMPACS).