Journalist of the month Sara Cincurova in Slovakia

December 23, 2016

Sam Berkhead of IJnet did on 21 December an interview with the Slovakian journalist and filmmaker Sara Cincurova to discusses her work to bring human rights to the forefront. She was chosen as Journalist of the month. In this context I draw attention to the “Speak Up, Speak Out: A Toolkit for Journalists Reporting on Gender and Human Rights Issues” which seeks to help journalists  learn the basics of reporting on women’s and other human rights issues. It combines background information on international human rights mechanisms; guidelines on producing nuanced, objective reporting on rights issues; and practical exercises that walk users step-by-step through the production of a solid human rights story. The toolkit also helps journalists understand how international human rights mechanisms, laws and treaties work. Global in scope and written in an easy-to-understand language, the toolkit is intended to be used as a training aid in targeted journalism trainings around the world. It is available in English online as a free PDF download, with French, Arabic and Spanish language translations planned for the future. The toolkit is based on a series of trainings in human rights reporting that Internews conducted in several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East between 2009 and 2011. It was developed and produced by Internews’ Global Human Rights Program.

 image courtesy of Sara Cincurova.

At age 26, the Slovakian journalist’s byline has appeared on sites like The Huffington PostVoxEuropWomen’s WorldWide Web and openDemocracy. Her work has brought her to countries like the UK, France, Ukraine, Georgia, Burkina Faso and Indonesia, interviewing everyone from refugees at the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, to a Holocaust survivor. We spoke with her about her most noteworthy projects, finding the intersection between journalism and human rights and more:

IJNet: How did you get started as a journalist?

Cincurova: I have always been interested in human rights. I spent a year in Africa and in Asia, then I worked for a charity supporting women and children victims of domestic violence. I first started blogging in my home country, Slovakia. I remember that my first blog post about domestic violence had more than 10,000 entries within the first two days, and I also received a lot of emails from readers. So I started writing regularly for different media outlets, and that’s how it all started for me.

How has your work in advocating for victims of gender-based violence influenced the way you work as a journalist?

I think that trauma and abuse are always very difficult and intricate topics to report on. I have interviewed many experts on violence, and I try to use the skills that I have acquired whenever I’m interviewing victims of abuse, conflict, displacement, etc. I try to cover their stories as accurately and sensitively as possible. I also think that empathy is very important. Another thing is that I also try to focus on resistance and resilience, not just violence and victimhood.

What’s your favorite story you’ve worked on so far? What was challenging about it? How did you overcome those challenges?

Right now, I am working on an incredibly interesting article about Slovakians that hid Jewish families in their homes during World War II. I think it’s very important to share their stories today; they are a great inspiration for human rights defenders worldwide. Also, it’s very interesting to ask where their courage, kindness and motivation came from; many of them have risked their lives just to save another human being. To me, this project has been life-changing and changed the way I see human rights and resistance. I also think it’s important to share these stories today, in the current context.

Source: Journalist of the month: Sara Cincurova | IJNet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: