In August, I recruited a team of US-based and local journalists to plan, coordinate and lead “Youth Media Belize,” in the Orange Walk District. Read all about it in this awesome article from the Missouri School of Journalism.
You also can check out photos and info on the Dateline: Belize Facebook page:
In November, I worked planned, coordinated and let a three-day program in Belize City called “Putting Children in the Right,” again working with University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Belize and UNICEF in Belize. The sessions were for practicing journalists and professionals from allied fields. We welcomed about 30 participants from around the country. Belizean journalist Janelle Chanona co-taught with me.
Throughout the three-day program, we stressed the idea of Belizean journalists uniting to create a professional association. It’s not a new concept, and there have been efforts in this direction over the years. Still, enthusiasm and participation has waxed and waned.
As the a group, the participants also helped UNICEF brainstorm about how the organization might develop and launch a annual awards programs to recognize media coverage of youth issues in Belize.
Judging by the participant surveys from Dateline: Belize (2010), the program was a success. But whether the skills, ideas, and insights shared are taking root in the way Belizean journalists do their jobs is harder to judge. Still, I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the journalists who took part and by the support I got from my journalism friends and colleagues in Belize – not to mention my friend Geraldine Cols Azocar, who paid her own way to Belize in order to teach and provide support. (Note: Terry and Daniel Fabro also played a role in Dateline: Belize by graciously hosting Geraldine at their home).
Now that I am my own boss, I am planning to reach out to media outlets, businesses, and NGOs in Belize to find out if I can continue to put my skills to good use:
- Multimedia storytelling
- Improving writing
- Social media for journalists
- Media consulting
- Movement: My watchword for 2011 (hollyedgell.wordpress.com)