Notes to broadcasters on human rights stories

    | October 31, 2011

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    This is an example of a human rights story. These stories can be challenging for journalists to research and for media organizations to broadcast or publish. But they often have great impact. In this case, women fish vendors are being placed in what they feel is an impossible situation simply because they are female. Simply bringing this story to light may effect change.

    There are many resources available to support journalists who wish to write human rights or gender-based stories. We list a few here:

    -Journalists for Human Rights website:

    -International Journalists Network’s “Human Rights” page:

    -“A Gender and Media Advocacy Toolkit”:

    Farm Radio Weekly has previously covered stories with a human rights focus, for example:

    -Burkina Faso: Maternal health is a human right, insists Amnesty International (FRW 104, March 2010).

    -Southern Africa: Some progress towards defending farm workers’ rights (FRW 33, August 2008).

    -Ghana: Strong customary laws prove a blessing for women (by Pius Sawa, for Farm Radio Weekly in Kenya) (FRW 134, November 2010)

    You can browse a variety of scripts on social and human rights issues in our archive:

    Maybe some of these scripts or news items will inspire you to cover human rights issues in your region. Do you know of any issues similar to those raised in this week’s story from Democratic Republic of the Congo? Often, these situations continue in secrecy because people fear to speak out. Be sure of your facts, and remember to speak with officials and organizations who know the law and work to raise awareness.