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Argentina: On-line ICRC course for journalists

07-12-2001 News Release 01/48

In November, the ICRC regional delegation in Buenos Aires launched an interactive Internet course on the topic of “journalists and armed conflict”. The Spanish-language course was produced with the assistance of a company that specializes in on-line training. The course consists of two modules. The first introduces the ICRC, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and basic international humanitarian law. The second deals with more specific subjects of interest to journalists on dangerous assignments, such as legal factors and the type of assistance the ICRC can offer when they are covering conflicts or humanitarian work.

The course is original and informative. It involves about 10 hours of interactive on-line activity, with a succession of tasks, studies and self-evaluation sections. Participants can also download additional course material, print it out and study it off-line, and revise what they have learned.

This is a pilot course, enabling the ICRC to evaluate the new distance learning tools on offer and test them on people who are open to new technologies but have little time available for traditional courses. Initially, the course is being aimed at journalists in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. It has been highly successful, with 150 participants in the first month. The press has helped promote the course, particularly by carrying free adverts.