Navigating The Digital Frontier: Cecilia Maundu Guides Zanzibar Journalists To Cyber Resilience


By Khairat Haji, Zanzibar:

In the heart of Zanzibar, ten passionate women journalists gathered in a virtual space for a transformative two-day training program led by Cecilia Maundu, a seasoned journalist and digital specialist. The initiative, generously sponsored by Pen America, aimed to empower these journalists with the essential skills needed to navigate the digital landscape safely and effectively.

As the training commenced, Cecilia Maundu, with her wealth of experience, immediately engaged the participants in an open discussion about the challenges faced by journalists in the digital age. The group quickly identified issues such as digital safety, protection of private information, securing online accounts, and addressing attacks on social media platforms.

Cecilia emphasized the importance of understanding the digital landscape as a journalist and the need to safeguard one's privacy in an interconnected world. She delved into practical strategies for protecting personal and professional information, emphasizing the significance of strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and encryption tools.

"In the realm of digital journalism, our safety and the safety of our sources are paramount. We must learn not only to protect ourselves but also to extend a helping hand to our colleagues facing digital threats," Cecilia asserted, setting the tone for the training.

The participants were guided through interactive sessions, where they learned how to identify and respond to online harassment and attacks. Cecilia provided insights on recognizing phishing attempts, securing social media accounts, and reporting abusive behavior on digital platforms. The training sessions were not only informative but also fostered a sense of camaraderie among the journalists.

During a poignant moment in the training, Cecilia addressed the issue of inadequate digital laws. "In the realm of digital, there is a problem of laws; still, the laws are not good," she declared. She shed light on the need for comprehensive and updated legislation to protect journalists in the digital space, ensuring that their rights were safeguarded in the face of evolving online threats.

The journalists from Zanzibar were not just passive learners; they actively engaged with the trainer, sharing their own experiences and challenges. The virtual training room buzzed with discussions, and the participants eagerly absorbed the knowledge imparted, gaining valuable insights that would fortify their digital resilience.

RehemaMema is one of the participants in the training, and she states that she has benefited the most by learning about digital security issues. She emphasizes that she will make significant changes, particularly in terms of having strong passwords.

"I am very grateful to have received this training. Initially, my understanding of digital security issues was limited, but now I have gained a broad understanding. I will be able to protect myself and others from online harassment." said Nihifadhi Abdullah one of the participants.

As the two-day training program concluded, the 10 women journalists of Zanzibar left with a newfound confidence and a deeper understanding of the digital landscape. Cecilia Maundu's guidance and Pen America's support had equipped them with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the challenges of the digital age, ensuring that they could continue their journalistic pursuits with resilience and security. The ripple effect of this training promised to strengthen not only the individual journalists but also the journalistic community in Zanzibar as a whole.

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