[Suva – 14 June] More than twenty journalists from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will attend a four day workshop that will enhance their skills to produce informed media reports on urbanization and informal settlements.
The Pacific is one of the fastest urbanising regions in the world, with an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Pacific Islanders now living in informal settlements. Such settlements have become a permanent feature in the Pacific, in particular, in and round the urban and economic growth centres of Melanesia.
The workshop will provide an opportunity for journalists to familiarise themselves with all the aspects of urbanization and housing in Melanesia. It will include presentations on urbanization, policy responses, as well as presentations by the Fiji Housing Authority and the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment. The workshop will also include hands-on training on rights-based reporting so that journalists can give a voice to those at the margins of society and foster an informed discussion when they report on urbanization and its challenges.
The workshop is part of a project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Pacific Centre in partnership with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the University of the South Pacific’s Journalism Program, with the support of the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS). The project aims to enhance the role of media in raising public awareness and facilitating an informed public debate on housing and urbanization as key development challenges in the region.
The workshop starts on Monday, June 17 and will be held at the Novotel in Lami. The Manager of the UNDP Pacific Centre, Garry Wiseman, will deliver opening remarks. The workshop ends on Thursday, June 20. Upon return to their home countries, journalists will be encouraged to use their newly acquired knowledge and enhanced skills to produce media products on informal settlements and housing in their countries.