CDEMA, US Embassy Host Social Media Workshop for Journalists

On Wednesday, June 16, the United States Embassy in Barbados along with other U.S. Embassies in the English-speaking Caribbean, joined the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to host a virtual session titled, “Producing Effective Video for Social Media.” The event is part of an ongoing Crisis Communication TechCamp, which is bringing together over 30 journalists, government information officers, disaster management professionals, and social media influencers from countries throughout the Eastern Caribbean with the aim of providing familiarity with digital tools and training to decipher disinformation in crisis situations such as natural disasters.

Emmanuel Alexandre Jr., Broadcast Associate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in The City University of New York

CDEMA’s Information and Communications Technology Manager, Mr. Oronde Lambert, remarked: “Our more than year-long experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent, and the extensive ongoing flooding in Guyana and Suriname, underscore the multi-hazard environment that is now very much a part of our Caribbean reality. What this means is that we have (to) remain vigilant and think outside the box, as it were, when it comes to our expectations of and communication around crises in this part of the world.”

U.S. State Department ECA Managing Director of Professional and Cultural Programs Chris Miner, remarked: “The U.S. State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs is committed to developing relationships and mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of the countries around the world. Our TechCamp program is just one of the ways that we do that.” She continued, “We partner already on so many issues including countering disinformation and protecting free and open journalism, particularly as it relates to sharing information. This TechCamp reflects so many of our shared values.”

Wednesday’s workshop was led by Haitian-American filmmaker and City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism Broadcast Associate, Emmanuel “Mano” Alexandre Jr. The training explored the different storytelling approaches using smartphone video for social media campaigns. It also presented the various tools and platforms best suited for project delivery and audience reach.

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