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Belizean journalist completes certification course at Poynter Institute

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2018. 7:13 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belizean journalist, Zoila Gonzalez, a member of our Breaking Belize News team has successfully completed a certification course at the Poynter Institute for Journalism in Tampa, Florida.

The Poynter Institute is recognized as the global leader in journalism. Poynter experts focus on fact checking, ethics, leadership, innovation and explore the intersection of journalism, technology and the public interest. Poynter has and continues to train newsroom leaders and media professionals around the world.

Gonzalez participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, a three week professional exchange program administered by the United States Department of State.

On Friday, October 12, Zoila along with her IVLP colleagues completed the course on Building Digital Literacy and Media Responsibility in Democracies in the Digital Age. Gonzalez graciously received her Certificate from the Poynter Institute.

The course was facilitated by Professor Al Tompkins who is a National Emmy award winner and author of the book, “Aim for the heart: Write, Shoot, Report, Produce for TV and Online”. Tompkins has taught television news producers, reporters, photo-journalists and managers in his workshops in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Ecuador, Denmark, Cayman, Iceland and South Africa.

Politifact’s audience engagement fellow, Josie Hollingsworth also provided a workshop on Politifact’s work and impact.

Poynter’s digital tools reporter, Ren La Forme was also among the facilitators of the training.

Gonzalez told BBN that she is grateful for the opportunity, “ I received my certificate from the Poynter Institute with great honor. My program, Building Digital Literacy and Media responsibility in Democracies in the digital age was focused on exploring new and diverse digital tools in our news presentation as well as undergoing rigorous fact-checking before publishing. We also explored media literacy trainings and how crucial it is to teach our young people to be media literate. With technology and the internet, we have to constantly teach our young people and make them aware of the productive researches they can use the internet for as well as teaching them to protect themselves and their personal and private information. Among the many other themes of the training was also the use of social media to share news and information and detecting fake websites. I am so grateful to the US Embassy in Belize, US Department of State, Breaking Belize News and my Belize family for their support throughout my program.”

Gonzalez plans to facilitate workshops for Belizean youths to share her skills and training on Building digital literacy and media responsibility in democracies in the digital age. 


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