NEWSLETTER: May 2 – Help us celebrate World Press Freedom Day


May 2nd, 2021

This week’s highlights

  • Join Us This World Press Freedom Day, Monday May 3, and Help Mobilize Media to Fight Misinformation Worldwide
  • Get Ready For JHR’s First World Press Freedom Day quiz!
  • Big Digital Lies: World Press Freedom Canada and’s Sarah Turnbull interviews Craig Silverman, Beverley
  • Mclachlin and Rachel Pulfer for a podcast on harmful communication on social media platforms and what to do about it
  • Information Saves Lives: Spotlighting the Impact of Covid19 on Human Rights in Mali
  • JHR and Hot Docs co-present SIEGED: THE PRESS VS. DENIALISM
  • Apply Now to the Media Girlfriends Fellowships !

This World Press Freedom Day Webinar, JHR is Mobilizing Media to Fight Misinformation Worldwide. Join Us!


This World Press Freedom Day, JHR will be hosting a special webinar that unpacks the implications of the ongoing mis/disinformation crisis for today’s COVID-19 stricken world. JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer will speak to online disinformation expert Craig Silverman, JHR project manager Siyabulela Mandela and World Press Freedom Canada president Shawn McCarthy on the subject. They will discuss the heightened need to protect the rights of independent media to freely provide information and report on events of the pandemic without external pressure and/or intervention, how mis/disinformation hampers journalists’ efforts, and what we can collectively do about this.
Monday, May 3rd, 2021, 11:00 AM EST

About the Panelists

Rachel Pulfer (moderator) is JHR’s Executive Director. Prior to running JHR, Pulfer was the 2009-2010 Webster-McConnell William Southam Journalism Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. She was a columnist and US correspondent for Canadian Business, as well as a member of the editorial staff.

Craig Silverman is leaving a role as Media Editor of BuzzFeed News to take up a new post with ProPublica covering voting, platforms, disinformation and online manipulation. He is one of the world’s leading experts in disinformation, misinformation and media manipulation.

Siyabulela Mandela is JHR’s Regional Coordinator of the East-Southern Africa region of the ongoing Mobilizing Media to Fight Covid-19 project supported by Global Affairs Canada, and a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate (International Relations and Conflict Resolution) in the Department of Politics and Conflict Studies at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.

Shawn McCarthy is the President of World Press Freedom Canada, an advocacy committee based in Ottawa, dedicated to highlighting issues of press freedom in Canada and abroad.

Get Ready for JHR’s World Press Freedom Day Quiz series!



On this World Press Freedom Day, JHR is also excited to launch our first quiz series for our social media followers. The quizzes will test participants’ knowledge of human rights issues in the 12 host countries of the Mobilizing Media for COVID-19 project, while sharing some inspiring insights and stories of change emerging from MMFC. The first quiz, that goes live on our social media channels on Monday, May 3, will focus on Mali, Tunisia and the Gambia. Stay tuned to our social media and emails to participate.

Top scorers will be featured on our leaderboard on social media!



For Big Digital Lies, JHR partner World Press Freedom Canada interviews Rachel Pulfer on
The Path Forward: fighting misinformation and what to do about it

Photo Credit: World Press Freedom Canada


Many Canadians get their news from the internet and navigate through a web that is polluted with disinformation and misinformation. What’s the impact of this on the people tasked with cutting through the noise? How do we get to the real facts?

JHR partner World Press Freedom Canada teamed up with Ottawa journalist Sarah Turnbull to probe the issue in a podcast series, ‘Big Digital Lies’. In the final episode, The Path Forward, Turnbull interviews Rachel Pulfer on Journalists for Human Rights’ work with First Draft News and a network of Canadian expert trainers including Craig Silverman, training journalists to identify and debunk misinformation and disinformation online and on social media platforms. Take a listen here.

Listen to the full series here


Information Saves Lives: A Webinar on Covid19 & Inequalities in Health Facilities & the Impact of Covid-19 on Access to Education in Mali

Mariam Tandina, Abdoulaye Guindo and Alexis Kalambry during the webinar about inequalities in health services in Mali. Photo Credit: JHR Mali

On April 29, Alexis Kalambry, JHR Media Trainers in Mali, hosted a webinar on the inequalities that the Covid-19 has accentuated in health facilities in Mali, particularly with regard to women and girls. The webinar was viewed by over 1,600 people and shared over 110 times.

Broadcast live on Facebook from the digital platforms of ENERGY MEDIA, JHR partner in Bamako and Relai TV, a new web TV in Mali, this webinar brought together 2 panelists: Dr. Abdoulaye GUINDO, Deputy National Director for Health and Ms. Mariam TANDINA, Country Coordinator of the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and National President of the AMPFF Youth Actions Movement.

From the observation of the Deputy National Director for Health, the public access to health centers has been largely affected because of the impact of Covid-19 on household income. “At the national level, 44.1% of households were affected by a drop in income linked to COVID-19” . Mariam TANDINA pointed out that the access of women and girls has worsened since the Covid-19 had started in March 2020 in Mali, a country where income is limited for many people. To her, “people no longer trust public health services. Those who have more financial abilities go to private health facilities, leaving low-income categories in health insecurity.”

En Français

Ce 29 avril, JDH a organisé un webinar sur les inégalités que la Covid-19 a accentuées dans les structures de santé au Mali notamment à l’endroit des femmes et filles. Vu par plus de 1.600 personnes et partagé à plus de 110 fois, ce webinar a été animé par Alexis KALAMBRY, l’un des Media Trainer JDH au Mali.

Diffusé en live sur Facebook à partir des plateformes digitales de ENERGY MEDIA partenaire de JDH à Bamako et Relai TV, un nouveau web télé au Mali, le webinar a réuni 2 panélistes : Dr. Abdoulaye GUINDO, Directeur National Adjoint de la Santé et Mme Mariam TANDINA, Coordinatrice pays de l’Alliance Internationale des Jeunes pour la Planification Familiale et Présidente Nationale du Mouvement d’Actions des Jeunes de l’AMPFF.

Du constat du Directeur National Adjoint de la Santé, l’accès des populations aux centres de santé a été largement affecté à cause de l’impact de la Covid-19 sur les revenus des ménages. « Au niveau national, 44,1% des ménages ont été touchés par une baisse de revenus liée à la COVID-19 ». De son côté, Mariam TANDINA a souligné que l’accès des femmes et filles s’est empiré depuis que la Covid-19 a commencé en mars 2020 au Mali où les revenus sont limités pour beaucoup de gens. Pour elle, « les gens n’ont plus confiance aux services publics de santé. Ceux qui ont les moyens partent dans les structures privées laissant les couches à faible revenu dans l’insécurité sanitaire.

Read the full story here

Access to Education in Sanankoroba: Covid19 causes students to drop out and lowers education levels.

“Due to the school closures because of Covid19 in Mali, we have lost a lot of staff. Students left, and even those who returned have not settled in. The school program has not been executed as was hoped for. The students could not properly understand the lessons taught”, says Coulibaly Adama, Director of Kola Magna de Sanankoroba. Teachers, students and parents give their views.

Read the full story by JHR trained journalist Daouda T Konaté here: Sanankoroba : La crise sanitaire du Covid-19 favorise le décrochage et la baisse du niveau des élèves


The above stories are part of the Mobilizing Media to Fight COVID-19 project funded by


This May, JHR and Hot Docs co-present

Still from ‘SIEGED: THE PRESS VS. DENIALISM’. Photo Credit: Hot Docs


JHR is thrilled to co-present SIEGED: THE PRESS VS. DENIALISM from April 29 – May 9, at North America’s largest documentary festival, Hot Docs, taking place online this year due to public health restrictions.

The film looks at the way Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has used the covid-19 pandemic to attack the press, and how this undermined efforts to ensure Brazilians had the necessary public health information they needed to stay safe. The film’s synopsis:

As Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll soars, President Bolsonaro unleashes a relentless media campaign of misinformation, undermining the efforts of journalists desperate to inform a nation during the darkest months of the pandemic.

Tickets on sale now: .



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