A journalists’ training program kickstarted on Monday via video link through the joint efforts of Anadolu Agency and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the state-run aid organization.

The Online Humanitarian Aid Journalism Training Program is part of the revised curriculum of the Anadolu Agency News Academy, which opened its doors to journalists in 2012.

Speaking at the opening session, Anadolu Agency News Academy Director Cihangir Isbilir said the training would hone the skills of journalists interested in covering humanitarian issues.

Noting the importance of humanitarian aid reporting, he said some ethical considerations should be observed when reporting on wars or natural disasters.

“How can we stop the media, warlords, politicians, abusers of humanitarian aid from playing at the hands of manipulators? What should journalists pay attention to when reporting on humanitarian news and taking photos? It is important to raise these questions,” he said.

“We will look for answers to these and similar questions during the course of our training and we will try to identify the principles and rules of humanitarian journalism,” he added.

Ugur Tanyeli, a senior TIKA official, said that more than 700 media representatives in over 40 countries have participated in the trainings being conducted since 2017.

Alper Kucuk, deputy general director of the Turkish Red Crescent, said that organizations working in the field of humanitarian aid need the media to convey their messages and defend the rights of people in need.

“Sometimes a photograph can save the lives of millions of people, or it can clearly show the tragedies people have experienced, such as baby Alan [Kurdi], who shook the world with his lifeless body that washed ashore,” Kucuk said, referring to the picture that became the global symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.

“To be more precise, humanitarian aid workers track your camera and your stories. We are sure that when you turn your camera on to a humanitarian crisis or a natural disaster, we will be able to deliver aid to many more people there,” he added.

The training is being attended by 55 participants from different countries.

Isbilir took a session on Crisis Reporting and Conflict Solutions.

Anadolu Agency’s Middle East correspondent Enes Canli took a session on Human Stories and Responsible Journalism.

On Day 2, Halil Ibrahim Izgi, a senior official at the Turkish Red Crescent, will lead a session on Humanitarian Aid and Humanitarian Diplomacy.

Anadolu Agency photojournalist Esra Hacioglu will hold a session on Human Stories and Humanitarian Aid Journalism.

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