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Road safety and the media: WHO and The George Institute hold journalist training

Journalists from low and middle income countries took part in a three day road safety fellowship program last week co-hosted by The George Institute and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The reporters from Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, Samoa, and the Philippines were in Sydney as part of United Nations Global Road Safety Week which this year focused on reducing speed.

The three day workshop began with the launch of the UN Global Road Safety Week at the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, where the journalists met with the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, MP Darren Chester.

In a private meeting they were able to ask questions about road safety in the region, before attending the launch where they heard speeches by Minister Chester and the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove who urged all attendees to slow down on the roads. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was also lit up to mark the beginning of Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety week which runs alongside the UN event.

On Monday the journalists gathered at the George Institute offices in Sydney to hear presentations from the NRMA’s Peter Khoury, Bernard Carlon, Executive Director of NSW Centre for Road Safety, Jonathon Passmore from the WHO and the George Institute’s Professor Rebecca Ivers. They were also able to present their own story ideas on road safety to UTS Media lecturer Catriona Bonfiglioli for feedback. Ideas included bike sharing programs in China and pedestrian safety in the Philippines.

On Tuesday the journalists spent time with the Transport and Highway Patrol team at NSW Police before attending Transport for NSW’s Crash Lab.

The objective of the fellowship program is to increase and improve the quality of reporting on road safety in the Western Pacific Region where 900 people are killed each day.

Find out more about UN Global Road Safety Week.