Information is one of the most powerful tools: it influences political decision-making and public opinion and ultimately establishes most of the priorities and the agenda items of the international community. This makes the independence of journalists and the accuracy of their reporting particularly important, especially when covering security issues.
Clear, objective and reliable journalism and strategic communication are needed to inform and engage citizens and policy makers on complex security issues. Inaccurate and misleading information can produce negative effects by creating improper policy responses or negative civil society reactions.
The limitations to independent and accurate reporting are amplified by the increasing prevalence of misinformation in an interconnected world, and the continuance of threats to journalists’ safety and threats to freedom of the press more generally. To deepen the understanding of these challenges, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) organizes a specialized course on cyber security from 6 to 7 November 2017.
Today’s digital landscape poses new challenges and offers new opportunities for media professionals. Technology has changed how journalists go about some of their most fundamental practices, like finding, verifying and securing sources, protecting sensitive information and conducting fact checking. New technologies (i.e. reporting apps and desktop tools, electronic databases, unmanned aircraft and encrypted messaging platforms) have also created new opportunities for quality journalism.
An understanding of emerging digital security risks and the potential uses of new technologies for reporting will help media professionals to report accurately and maintain freedom and independence from outside influences.
In recent years, the problems caused by misleading, biased, overly simple, or false information have been amplified. This is due to intentional misinformation and propaganda. But it also stems from a lack of technical knowledge by media professionals about the subjects related to new and emerging threats. These threats are constantly evolving, and thus require that journalists receive recurrent training to stay well informed and expand the network of reliable sources.
Meanwhile, technological changes in media consumption have amplified the potential reach of misinformation. This is particularly true when we think of the negative impacts of extremist propaganda or the dissemination of intentionally false information spreading directly to the public via social media.
During the training, participants will gain an in-depth knowledge on such emerging crimes and how to report about them accurately through learned methods of prevention, i.e. fact-checking tools. Moreover, participants will gain effective skills relating to digital tools and good practices that will enable them to protect their information and their sources while exercising freedom of expression on the Internet. Through the development of methods of digital security, media professionals will be able to mitigate the impact of repressive measures, retaliation from criminal groups and freedom of press restrictions.
The Cyber Threats Masterclass will be held at the United Nations Campus in Turin (Italy).
At the end of the training, media professionals will have acquired in-depth knowledge on:
The Masterclass is organized within the framework of the UNICRI Journalism and Public Information Programme on New Threats, focusing on phenomena associated with the onset of globalization and technological advances.
The new edition of the Cyber Threats Masterclass will be led by renowned international journalists and experts in the field of cyber crime, terrorist use of the internet and the role of media.
Click here to download the application form.
The programme is intended for journalists, chief information officers, public information and risk communication professionals, and those who want to specialize in public information and journalism.
Upon completion of the course UNICRI grants a certificate of participation.
Deadline for applications: 17 September 2017 (23:00 CET)
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