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Participants in the training session with Martin Faye. ©Martin Faye / Fondation Hirondelle Participants in the training session with Martin Faye.

Focus on journalism in conflict zones at the Thomas Sankara University

Our trainer Martin Faye was involved in a session for participants in the Certificate in Journalism, Communication and Conflict at the IUFIC of the Thomas Sankara University in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. A look back at this educational session for Burkinabe media professionals.

Conflict sensitive journalism. This was the theme of the training given by Martin Faye to media professionals involved in the certificate in journalism, communication and conflict at the « Institut Universitaire de Formations Initiale et Continue » (IUFIC) at the Thomas Sankara University in Ouagadougou. Between 21 and 26 March, our collaborator, Project manager of Fondation Hirondelle in the Sahel, was engaged to pass on his experience and that of our organisation, which has been working for 25 years in favour of the media in conflict zones. This training was set up in partnership with the « Projet de Formation Sud » (PFS), which aims to support higher education as a joint North-South initiative. These partnerships are set up between at least two higher education institutions in the French-speaking region of Belgium and a partner higher education institution of the « Académie de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur » (ARES).

This contribution from the Fondation Hirondelle is part of the curriculum set up by the late Belgian researcher Marie-Soleil Frère (Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB) with Dr. Lassané Yaméogo (IUFIC) who also coordinated our intervention. Created to give tools to press professionals to cover security crises, such as the one that has occurred since 2014 in Burkina Faso, this certificate aims in particular to promote communication between journalists and communicators from government institutions. 

For three hours each evening, the participants benefited from the advice of Martin Faye, a journalist, trainer, developer and director of media projects in Africa for the past 40 years. The themes of the rights and duties of journalists, as well as that of responsible journalism, were addressed through the work of the Hirondelle Foundation, in particular through the projection of its Masterclasses "Journalism in 300 questions". The topic of humanitarian journalism was the occasion to invite Isabelle Nitiema to share the experience of Studio Yafa, Fondation Hirondelle's project in Burkina Faso. A session was also dedicated to the different forms of violence and the warning signs of conflicts. The journalists involved also benefited from an individual evaluation session.

At the end of these few days, which were only disrupted by a few power cuts, the students were satisfied and said that they had strengthened their capacities thanks to this session.

Sacha Meuter, Head of Research at Fondation Hirondelle, will also lead a session in the framework of this certificate. On 31 May, he will propose a session on "Hybrid analysis (online/offline) of information ecosystems and interactions between social networks and traditional media".