When rights are violated, media can play a vital role in putting a stop to the abuses. Whatever the platform, media raise awareness about violations, inform people about their rights and encourage discussions about the role of governments, legal codes, and international mechanisms to safeguard those rights.

Speak Up, Speak Out is a training and resource portal for anyone interested in learning how to accurately, ethically, and objectively report on human rights violations in their own countries and communities.

Here you’ll find information on international human rights laws and mechanisms; guidelines for conducting background research, interviewing various types of sources, and producing nuanced reporting on rights issues; and practical exercises that walk you step-by-step through the production of a solid human rights story.

The materials here are well-suited to both independent learning and structured trainings. They are global in scope and can be used effectively by learners throughout the world. However, lessons will be most effective when adapted to the local context by experienced trainers with knowledge of the history, politics, and social realities of a particular place.


This toolkit is produced through Internews’ Global Human Rights Program, which works to strengthen the capacity of media to report on human rights issues.

Editor and Producer: Manisha Aryal
Principal Writer and Researcher: Jean Fairbairn, with section on digital security (Sec 2, Part 13) written by Jenny Holm
Copy Editor: Jenny Holm
Human Rights Information Reviewer: Julie Arostegui
Online Toolkit Production Coordinator: Ericha Gudmastad

Arabic – Avid Translation; French – Avid Translation; Russian – Elena Kovalska; Spanish – Alisa Sanchez; Bosnian: Goran Puskar

The production team would also like to thank Deborah Ensor for her help with toolkit structure; Joshua Machleder and Eva Constanteras for content review; and Djamilya Abdurahmanova for administrative and moral support throughout the production process.

Internews would like to thank South African human rights lawyer and member of the United Nation’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances Jeremy Sarkin and award-winning Indian journalist and public health expert Jaya Shreedhar, who were the first trainers for the human rights reporting training programs run through Internews’ Global Human Rights program in 2009 and 2010.

The team consulted with many Internews country programs, including country and project directors, resident journalism advisors, trainers and training participants. Your input and feedback were invaluable. Internews thanks you all.

The photographs in the toolkit, including those on the cover, are from countries where Internews works and has worked in the past. Unless otherwise noted, photos are from Internews’ own visual archives.

While this toolkit was developed by Internews, it builds on training materials produced by other organizations working in journalism training and human rights issues. We would like especially to acknowledge the work of United Nations, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and the many, many civil society organizations that are doing excellent work in building resources and training materials on human rights issues.

Copyright Internews 2012
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. The toolkit may be used and shared for educational, non-commercial, not-for-profit uses, with attribution to Internews. Users may not distribute content that has been modified.

About Internews

Internews is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard.
Internews provides communities the resources to produce local news and information with integrity and independence.

With global expertise and reach, Internews trains both media professionals and citizen journalists, introduces innovative media solutions, increases coverage of vital issues and helps establish policies needed for open access to information.
Internews programs create platforms for dialogue and enable informed debate, which bring about social and economic progress. Internews’ commitment to research and evaluation creates effective and sustainable programs, even in the most challenging environments.

Formed in 1982, Internews is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in California. Internews has worked in more than 70 countries, and currently has offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.

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