Libyan Journalists Trained on Disability-Inclusive Reporting
From April 18-20, 2017, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) trained 17 Libyan journalists on inclusive media coverage of elections and political processes from a disability rights perspective. The Disability Rights, Media, and Elections training module – a component of the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) program – focused on rights-based reporting of elections with the aim of building skills of participants to create inclusive media coverage of the political participation of persons with disabilities. The training was led by BRIDGE facilitator Dorra Tanfous and Libyan disability rights advocates Abdussalam Shlebak and Abderraouf Shanab, supported by IFES Inclusion Officer Rebecca Aaberg, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development Disability Fund.
“In the future, I will focus on reporting about the
rights of persons with disabilities in Libya, not just as
people who are suffering but also as people who
have the right to participate in electoral processes
and political life in Libya.”
– BRIDGE training participant
Participants engaged in interactive learning exercises on disability-inclusive media and elections, during which they discussed discrimination, rights-based terminology relating to disabilities, and assistive tools that facilitate access of voters with disabilities. Participants also learned about international and national legal frameworks for disability inclusion, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Libyan electoral laws. The training utilized IFES’ Media Empowering Disability Inclusion and Access (MEDIA) Guidelines for Libya, a document that is also being used by trainers from the Libyan disability rights community to train journalists throughout the country. The training gave the journalists the opportunity to practice skills acquired during the sessions, such as convincing editors to cover disability inclusion, and developing story ideas for reporting on election access.