ToT programme on Digital Safety and Security of Journalists held in Dhaka


News Network, Dhaka (October 4, 2020): A three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) programme on “Digital and Physical Safety of Journalists” was held in Dhaka on September 27 -29, 2020. News Network organised the training programme with support from the Internews with a view to developing a pool of media experts in the area of digital technologies and physical security. A total of 15 mid-career journalists, including three females, representing various national and regional print and electronic media attended the 3-day residential programme held at CCDB-Hope Foundation at Savar in Dhaka.

Digital security and IT expert Ashraful Haque conducted the technical sessions on digital security which included safe use of internet and digital communications while senior journalist Goutam Mondal conducted the session on physical security.

During the programme the trainees learnt about the digital threats and risks, mitigation strategies and security best practices that can be used to improve a user’s digital hygiene and overall digital security.

As part of the best practices to protect information, news, sources and devices, participants attended the programme learnt how to protect emails and use internet safely, how to protect computer from malware and hackers and how to protect themselves from physical threats while gathering information.

Senior journalist Gautam Mondal is conducting a session while master trainer IT expert Ashraful Haque is on the dais

The discussion also included how cookies work, what the safe internet websites are, how to remove internet browsing history, what incognito browsing is, anonymity network, effective use of pseudonyms, how to protect identity of email account user, encrypting mails and hard-drive, hiding information with VeraCrypt and creating strong passwords. The ToT programme engaged the participants in a comprehensive, multi-day distributive learning process, including mock demonstration, which will help building their knowledge and skills required to effectively train other journalists. This pool of experts will act as trainers for a two-day training event in their home region.

Internews – Bangladesh Country Representative Mainuddin Ahmed attended the inaugural programme as the guest of honour which was addressed among others by News Network Editor and CEO Shahiduzzaman and Internews – Bangladesh Programme Manager Shameem Ara Sheuli. News Network Editor Shahiduzzaman and Internews Programme Manager Shameem Ara Sheuli distributed certificates among the participants in the concluding session.

Speakers at the training programme stressed the need for increasing both digital and physical safety for journalists by equipping them with proper training and devices.

Participants, who attended the programme, were overwhelmed for the opportunity to learn and hone the new media skills and stressed the need for more such trainings to cope with the rising IT security threats.  They also demanded to increase the duration of the programme.

“Unless I attend the training course I could not realise how important the subject is. I am now convinced and inspired and hope to apply the apply the knowledge in my professional works,” said Munina Munni, a senior journalist from The Financial Express.

A general view of a session with full of zeal and enthusiasm

Another participant from Chittagong also expressed his gratefulness terming the training very usefulness which he said would help immensely to face the challenges from both physical and digital threats. “I am now more confident and a different person than what I was before the training”, said Shahnewaz Riton, Bureau Chief of an upcoming TV channel –UTV. 

“Training on digital security was a new learning for many of us that expanded our horizon’, said Syed Mehedi Hasan, News Editor of Daily Matabad, from Barishal adding that it was an opportunity for them to learn about the digital safety and security and the technique to protect themselves from digital threats.