University of Cambridge > > Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events > CGHR Practitioner Series presents: Reporting Human Rights Today

CGHR Practitioner Series presents: Reporting Human Rights Today

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The journalism industry is undergoing intense change. Young journalists today face job losses and budget cuts, while navigating a world of new startups and funding sources. Social media is eroding the intermediating role of the media as the fourth estate with the direct, rapid provision of information. The rhetoric of “fake news” points to a wider trend of declining trust in the media. And, as traditional media organisations cut back on staff and resources, especially internationally, funding for journalism is coming from nonprofit foundations – on one side those dedicated to journalism and on the other policy organisations expanding into journalism, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. These journalism foundations are propping up the industry, but they also have their own agendas, bottom lines and precarities. At the same time, the employment offered by traditional news outlets is increasingly insecure or poorly paid.

Bringing together young practitioners and academics, this panel and discussion will unpack the landscape facing young persons embarking on a career in journalism today, and the ways that some young journalists are attempting to carve out a career reporting on international affairs. How are young news reporters navigating a changing, threatened and tumultuous field of journalism? What does it look like to be an international reporter today? What is the future role of the journalist in reporting on international politics?

Panel discussion followed by a drinks reception. All welcome.


Suyin Haynes is a Senior Reporter covering gender, culture and marginalized communities for TIME magazine from the publication’s London bureau. Prior to this, she was based in TIME ’s Hong Kong bureau for two years as an Associate Editor, responsible for TIME ’s social media and audience engagement endeavors. From Asia, she also reported on social movements, women’s rights and culture, covering everything from machismo populism in the Philippines, to the #MeToo movement in China and South Korea, to the popularity of the film and novel franchise ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’ She graduated in International Relations and History from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2016.

Haley Joelle Ott is the digital reporter/producer for CBS News in London. She has worked for outlets including VICE News on HBO , Al Jazeera English, and Monocle, and has reported and produced across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. She has received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Dr Maha Rafi Atal is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Copenhagen Business School where she researches the political economy of corporate power, including corporate influence in the media and the implications for investigative journalism. Other research interests include the politics of “corporate social responsibility” as a governance regime in the Global South, and the accountability of corporations under international law. In addition to her academic research, she is an award-winning business and economics journalist, with work published in Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, The Guardian and The New Statesman, among others. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, and the co-founder and Executive Director of Public Business, a non-profit supporting reporting, research and discussion about the wider impact of business actions.

About the CGHR Practitioner Series: For those hoping to pursue a career in the ‘Third Sector’, especially amidst a broad range of organisations and agencies whose mandates can be loosely collected under the umbrella headings of ‘Human Rights and Social Justice’, ‘Conflict and Security’ or ‘Development and Humanitarian Aid,’ the terrain can be difficult to navigate. A sound academic training, the kind provided by Cambridge University, is important but certainly not enough to prepare students for the transition into working in this sector. Through a mixture of substantive discussion, personal reflection and practical advice, the CGHR Practitioner Series brings together high‐level experts working in these fields and creates a forum in which students and researchers can listen and ask questions about what this work actually involves, seek out reflections from experience on the dilemmas and challenges faced, and probe the skill set and experience needed to forge a career in these fields.

This talk is part of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events series.

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