South Asia series launched with webinar on “Protecting Yourself Online”

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‘The Future of Journalism in South Asia’ series was launched on July 14 July, 2022 with a webinar on online safety titled ‘Protect Yourself Online’. This was attended by journalists from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The series, which include four webinars an online workshop, is being conducted by the Center for Investigative Journalism (Sri Lanka) and Media Unlimited (Pakistan) with support from the Meta Journalism Project. This is an important milestone in Meta’s engagement with South Asian journalists and intends to bring over 300 journalists from four South Asian countries to discuss and learn about issues important to the new generation of digitally engaged journalists.

Journalists Rozina Islam spoke on Online Smear Campaigns in Bangladesh, Farieha Aziz spoke on the digital challenges faced by journalists in Pakistan, Namrata Sharma spoke on how difficult it is to protect oneself online drawing on personal examples from Nepal and Senel Wanniarachchi spoke of forms of harassment faced by journalists online giving examples from Sri Lanka and the response of social media companies in removing them.

In the Q&A session that followed, discussion focused on how journalists can cope against online challenges and harassment and what avenues are open to them.  Many questions were asked about the different tactics used by various quarters to silence journalists and kill their stories and how journalists cope with these.  Other issues raised included safety tips to gender equality.

Feedback from the session has been overwhelmingly positive with most journalists saying that they learnt a lot from this webinar. The next session in the series in a workshop on Facebook Safety to be held in August.

Screenshots During the Session