The Thomson Reuters Foundation this week partnered with the National Communication Centre Bahrain to train journalists and government spokespeople on how to communicate issues around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
20 journalists and 20 government spokespeople were trained on reporting and communicating the SDGs in the context of Bahrain. The groups were trained separately for the first three days of the four-day programme before coming together on the final day for role-playing and press conference simulation.
The partnership between the Foundation and the National Communication Centre was established in advance of Bahrain presenting its Voluntary National Review (VNR) this year at the UN. This is a significant platform from which Bahrain will highlight its progress on implementing the SDGs. We carried out training on how the SDGs are being implemented for government spokespeople from a wide range of ministries, as well as journalists from an equally diverse pool of media organisations.
Participants learned about the SDGs themselves and how they link with their work through interactive workshops and exercises. Our trainers guided journalists on how to construct their stories, on everything from sourcing the story to using data. They were also given guidance on how to pitch their stories to editors and show that they could produce interesting angles around their ideas, and the SDGs. For the spokespeople, the trainers focused first on their messaging before rigorous, interactive media skills sessions began, including on-camera practice and critique.
Participants applied the knowledge gained during the programme to a mock press conference held on the final day of training, in which real media scenarios were replicated. This day was attended by H.E. Mr. Amin El Sharkawi, the UN Resident Coordinator who gave a presentation and fielded questions from participants.