Journalism Fellowship Programme 2021 Speakers

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SIGNIS Asia Journalism Desk has brought together some of the finest speakers from across Asia. They are industry media practitioners, academicians and experts from non-profit international agencies. Participating Fellows will benefit immeasurably from the speakers’ wealth of knowledge and experience in their weekly presentations. 

‘JOURNALISM IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD’

SIGNIS Asia Journalism Fellowship Programme 2021
One session per week, every Tuesday from 5.30 PM –7.30 PM | GMT +8 | Malaysia time


Kavita ChandranJose Torres Jr.Dr. Anna Jihyun You
Tuesday 2 November – WORKSHOP 1 – Media as a Catalyst for Change – SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM
Kavita ChandranConsultant and Journalism Trainer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Singapore
Jose Torres Jr. – Editor-at-Large, LiCAS News, Philippines
Dr. Anna Jihyun You – President, WeBien YOU Creative Communications, Korea (Board of Directors, SIGNIS Korea)

Trinna LeongLee Long HuiProf. Ricardus Eko Indrajit
Tuesday 9 November – WORKSHOP 2 – Big Data & Storytelling
Trinna Leong
– Teaching Fellow, Google News Lab Southeast Asia
Lee Long Hui
– Assistant Editor, Kini News Lab, Malaysia
Prof. Richardus Eko Indrajit
– Rector, Pradita University, Indonesia

Dr. Mastura MahamedArul PrakkashCarol Andrade
Tuesday 16 November – WORKSHOP 3 – Citizen Journalism
Dr. Mastura Mahamed
– Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University of Putra Malaysia
Arul Prakkash
– Senior Programme Manager, Asia & the Pacific, WITNESS.org
Carol Andrade
– Dean of SPICE (St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education), Mumbai, India

Jacqueline FernandezFr. Shay CullenKalpana Sharma
Tuesday 23 November – WORKSHOP 4 – Ethics of Humanitarian Reporting
Jacqueline Fernandez
– Communications Manager, ICRC Myanmar – International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Fr. Shay Cullen
– Founder and President, Preda Foundation, Philippines
Kalpana Sharma – Independent journalist, columnist & author, India

Terence FernandezAugustine AnthuvanDr. Peter Rachada Monthienvichienchai
Tuesday 30 November – WORKSHOP 5 – Global Village Newsroom
Terence Fernandez
– Managing Editor, The Vibes, Malaysia
Augustine Anthuvan
– Communication Consultant, Moderator & Presenter, Former Executive Producer, Channel NewsAsia, Mediacorp, Singapore
Dr. Peter Rachada Monthienvichienchai
– Executive Director/ Founding Member, LiCAS News, Bangkok, Thailand

Helen Osman
Tuesday 26 October – INTRODUCTION SESSION – Week 1
& Tuesday 7 December – CLOSING SESSION – Week 7
Helen Osman
– President, Greater Wings, USA
(President, SIGNIS World; Chair, SIGNIS World Journalism Desk)

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Kavita Chandran

Consultant and Journalism Trainer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Singapore

Presentation Title: SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM – A CATALYST FOR CHANGE

Kavita Chandran is a content consultant and journalism trainer with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. She is a former Reuters journalist who has worked in newsrooms across the United States and Asia. She worked with Reuters News for 10 years as a Training Editor and Front Page Editor with the Top News team. Prior to Reuters, Kavita was a financial news editor with Bloomberg News in New York. She started her career in New Delhi as a business reporter and moved on to produce and anchor shows on CNBC. She has an M.A. in Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University School of Journalism in New York. Based in Singapore, Kavita is a published author of a book, and is also adjunct faculty for Communications and Journalism at Murdoch University and S.P. Jain Global School of Management.

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Jose Torres Jr.

Editor-at-Large, LiCAS.news, Philippines

Presentation Title: THE JOURNALIST AND JOURNALISM IN THE CHANGING WORLD

Jose Torres Jr. is editor-at-large of LiCAS News, a Catholic news agency based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also writes stories about Asia for the Catholic News Agency and sits as member of the Editorial Board of Radio Veritas Asia. Mr Torres is a two-time recipient of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Journalism for his books “Unholy Nation: Stories from a Gambling Republic” (2004) and “Into the Mountain: Hostaged by the Abu Sayyaf” (2002), both published by the Claretian Communications Foundations Inc. In 2016, he released “In the Crosshairs of Conflict: A Missionary Witness in Basilan.” Mr Torres is former chairman of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) and the Philippine Center for Photojournalism (PCP). He currently sits as a member of the board of the National Press Club of the Philippines.

He studied Philosophy at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and took up Theology at the Loyola School of Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University. He took up multimedia journalism in 2012 at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University. In the early 1990s, Mr Torres worked as sub-editor for Saudi Gazette, the national paper of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Starting 1997, he worked as investigative reporter for the defunct Isyu newsmagazine in Manila, The Manila Times, The Philippine Post, and The Sunday Paper.  He helped set up the online news platform of the Philippine television network ABS-CBN in 2001, and that of its rival network, GMA News, in 2005. In Mr Torres was Philippine bureau chief and head of operations of the Union of Catholic Asian News from 2011 to 2019 before he joined LiCAS News as its Editor-at-Large. Mr Torres is the recipient of the 2004 International Tolerance Prize and the 2004 Jaime V Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism, Explanatory Category. He was conferred the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Fellowships for Professional Development by the US Embassy in Manila in 2005 and was a fellow at the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.

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Dr. Anna Jihyun You

President, WeBien YOU Creative Communications, Korea (Board of Directors, SIGNIS Korea)

Presentation Title: TRAILBLAZING CHANGE IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE – ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

An acclaimed communication professional, announcer, anchorwoman, correspondent and media journalist in the United States and South Korea, Dr. You has excelled with several media networks, including SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System), SBS CNBC and CNBC Global Network. Dr. You has been the first among Korean media professionals to report the Global Business News at the New York Stock Exchange. Dr. You has trained and lectured on integrated topics related to communication such as speech communications, communication strategies for global events, multi-cultural adaptation and acculturation.

Additionally, she served as a spokesperson and press secretary for numerous international mega sporting events. Today, she channels her vast expertise into her work as a speech and communications expert and media journalist with WeBien YOU Creative Communications and several organizations. She especially continues to contribute to the Catholic community and media through her role as a spokesperson and executive of the SIGNIS World Congress 22.

Due to her outstanding work, she has been honored with the Best Announcer Award by the Korean Announcers Association. Many other recognitions followed, including the Achievement Award from Munkyung City and the Presidential Citation from the Korean President and Government. Also, she has listed in the world biographical dictionary “Marquis Who’s Who” for her dedication to the field of media and communications.

Dr. You obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications from Gwangwoon University. Before this accomplishment, she earned a Master of Public Administration in mass communications from Yonsei University as well as a Master of Science in integrated marketing communications with a specialization in direct and interactive marketing communications from New York University.

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Trinna Leong

Teaching Fellow, Google News Lab Southeast Asia

Presentation Title: BEHIND THE NUMBERS: WHY CONTEXT MATTERS

Trinna Leong is Google News Lab’s first Southeast Asia Teaching Fellow. A former correspondent covering the triple beat of politics, economy and general news, her work over the decade has appeared in Reuters, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal and The Straits Times.

In her role at Google, she is running newsroom training across an incredibly diverse market spanning different cultures and languages. Much of her work now at Google involves building stronger digital skill sets, raising work efficiency and developing fact-checking knowledge among local reporters and editors. 

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Lee Long Hui

Assistant Editor, Kini News Lab, Malaysia

Presentation Title: HOW THE KINI NEWS LAB TELLS STORIES WITH DATA?

Lee Long Hui is an assistant editor with Malaysiakini and one of the founding members of the Kini News Lab. He enjoys the work of combining the skills and knowledge of journalism and computer science for better storytelling.

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Prof. Ricardus Eko Indrajit

Rector, Pradita University, Indonesia

Presentation Title: THE ART OF STORYTELLING USING BIG DATA

Prof. Richardus Eko Indrajit, is a Rector of Pradita University, Indonesia and is a known leader in the academic field with vast experiences in various industries, most notably the business, management and information technology. Having graduated as Computer Engineer from Surabaya Institute of Technology in 1992, he pursued his Masters in Applied Computer Science at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Leicester University, United Kingdom, Master of Communication from London School of Public Relations, and Master of Philosophy from Masstricht School of Management, Netherlands. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from University of the City of Manila, Philippines, the University of Information Technology and Management Poland, and the Jakarta State University.

In his early career journey, he has served in several sectors, from corporations like Price Waterhouse Indonesia and Prosys Bangun Nusantara, to educational institutions like Perbanas School of Information System and Technology and Swiss-German University, to the government sector, where he is a special advisory member to the Ministry of National Education (BSNP and DPT) and Ministry of Research and Technology (DRN) among others. Prof Richardus has also published more than 50 books and hundreds of national journals in the area of business, management, and information technology.

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Dr. Mastura Mahamed

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University of Putra Malaysia

Presentation Title: UNDERSTANDING CITIZEN JOURNALISM FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF YOUTH CITIZEN JOURNALISTS IN MALAYSIA

Mastura Mahamed, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in Department of Communication, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Her research area is in journalism, participatory media, youth and media, mass communication and public relations. She is also involved in various qualitative research methods and analysis projects in her faculty as well as other organizations. As a person with disability (cerebral palsy), she also has keen interest in community empowerment particularly in the disabled community and social equality.

She obtained her Degree in Mass Communication majoring in public relations from Universiti Teknologi Mara in 2008. After graduation, she worked in a few organizations as a public relations officer/researcher in both government and private sector. She also later resumed as a contributor cum stringer for a few publication companies.

She then pursued the master’s degree in Journalism and Communication in University of New South Wales Australia and completed the degree between mid-2010 until 2011. After returning to Malaysia, she worked as a lecturer in a private and public universities. She decided to enrol as a PhD candidate in September 2014 and in her journey, she managed to attend and presented in a few local and international conferences. Her research areas are in journalism, youth and new media. She also had successfully published book chapters, journal articles and conference proceedings during her candidature related to her research topic of citizen journalism and youth.

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Arul Prakkash

Senior Programme Manager, Asia & the Pacific, WITNESS.org

Presentation Title: MOBILE JOURNALISM AND DIGITAL ACTIVISM

Prakkash is a human rights activist, community organiser and media specialist leading WITNESS’ programmatic work in Asia and the Pacific. He works to strengthen the use of video to expose human rights violations in critical response situations in the region, such as war crimes, ethnic cleansing, forced evictions, elections-related violence, police abuse, and others. He trains and supports frontline activist networks, grassroots movements, social network influencers, journalists, independent media, citizens, and NGOs in the use of video and technology for human rights, and especially their evidentiary uses. This includes video archiving and region-wide advocacy, as well as issues of digital security and physical safety.

Prakkash’s expertise includes the use of internet and social media technology for human rights education and advocacy in southeast Asia. Prakkash has been immersed in grassroots multimedia communications for more than 20 years in Malaysia, especially with civil society organizations, independent media, and activists. He also has extensive experience in using popular communications in empowering and advocating for human rights, and community organising with urban poor youth, indigenous peoples’ communities and plantation workers.

Before joining WITNESS in 2014, Prakkash had for 10 years served as the executive director and senior program staff member at Pusat Komas, a popular communications and human rights NGO in Malaysia. He was also a steering committee member of BERSIH 2.0, a civil society movement advocating for free and fair elections in Malaysia. He later helped set up and co-coordinate a nationwide web-based election observation body, and trained hundreds of independent observers during the 2013 Malaysian general elections.

Prakash recently directed the documentary film Melawan Arus (‘Against the Tide’), which traces the growing critical mass movement that toppled the 61-year Barisan Nasional government in Malaysia.

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Carol Andrade

Dean of SPICE (St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education), Mumbai, India

Presentation Title: CITIZEN JOURNALISM

Carol Andrade is a retired journalist and media educator who still writes occasionally and reaches full time. She has been in the game for more than four decades, starting off as a reporter and moving upwards rapidly, to editor of both a broadsheet and a tabloid. Her career has been mostly with the Times of India and its broadsheet publications.

She has worked both sides of the journalistic spectrum, in hard news as well as its counterpart, news and features for supplements that are mainly advertising vehicles. For around 25 years, from 1985 onwards, she was a stringer for Vatican Radio. In 2010, she attended and presented a paper on the Role of the Church in Media and Communications, giving the India angle. She has held workshops, moderated seminars and been a panelist on a wide range of subjects connected with the media. Her teaching role is almost 25 years old. She was on the visiting faculty of XIC and has been with St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education since 2012, when she created its first course in Journalism, post Graduation. She has engaged with media technology since 1988, welcoming the computer enthusiastically.

Carol uses media, both as consumer and creator, and reads widely on trends and influences in the field. Thus has enabled her to claim for St. Pauls a unique characteristic – turning the curriculum around swiftly to reflect the latest enablers in the rapidly evolving field of journalism. Her passions are reading and speaking – not to large auditoriums but to small groups of people about the effect that media has on every aspect of our lives, how to embrace it and ensure that it does not control you.

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Jacqueline Fernandez

Communications Manager, ICRC Myanmar
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Presentation Title: ETHICS OF HUMANITARIAN REPORTING

Jacqueline Fernandez joined the humanitarian sector nearly a decade ago and has over 20 years of media, strategic communications experience. With the ICRC, she’s served in Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and now in Myanmar. She leads the Myanmar communications team that supports ICRC’s operations with communities in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states. A firm believer in respectful, inclusive storytelling, Jacqueline’s striving to ensure that community interests are considered first and foremost – putting the human into humanitarian storytelling.

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Fr. Shay Cullen

Founder and President, Preda Foundation, Philippines

Presentation Title: ETHICS OF HUMANITARIAN REPORTING

Father Shay Cullen (born 27 March 1943) is an Irish missionary priest that came to the Philippines in 1969. He is the founder and Vice President of Preda Foundation which began in 1974 (www.preda.org). He is a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. His work with professional Filipino staff is releasing youth illegally jailed, giving them residential care, therapy, value formation education, vocational training and reintegration and livelihood assistance. He also rescues girls from human traffickers, child sex abusers and proves similar services in residential homes restoring dignity with respect and affirmation.

The Preda Emotional Release Therapy helps victims/survivors overcome trauma and empower the youth. With Preda legal assistance the children win an average of 17 convictions of their abusers and traffickers annually. He is continually campaigning for new laws protecting children’s rights in the Philippines and in other countries. His projects has saved thousands of children over 50 years of missionary work. Father Shay established the Profairtrade Development Enterprise to help alleviate poverty and give a better economic life with dignity through Fair Trade and economic justice for 850 farmers and indigenous people (www.predafaifrtrade.net).

He is an international speaker for decades and makes presentations on human rights through webinars. In 2015 he was a consultant in Rome and met Pope Francis. He has appeared in many documentaries and news articles and has addressed the U.S. House Committee on International Relations on two occasions. He has testified on child rights in the German Parliament.

Fr. Shay is an prolific writer and the author of two books including an autobiography and a novel .He is a widely read columnist published on UCAN and in newspapers and magazines: He writes a Facebook page on Gospel themes (https://www.facebook.com/JesusOfNazarethStories/). He has received four international nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and received numerous human rights awards.

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Kalpana Sharma

Independent journalist and author

Presentation Title: JOURNALISM AS IF PEOPLE MATTER

Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, columnist and author based in Mumbai. In almost five decades as a journalist specializing in developmental, environmental and gender issues, she has worked with Himmat Weekly, Indian Express, Times of India and The Hindu. She was Consulting Editor with Economic & Political Weekly and Readers’ Editor with Scroll.in. Her column on gender, “The Other Half” ran for 30 years first in Indian Express and then The Hindu. Currently, she writes a media column in Newslaundry.com.

Her latest book is “The Silence and the Storm: Narratives of violence against women in India” (2019). She is also the author of “Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum” (2000). In addition, she has edited “Single by Choice, Happily Unmarried Women” (2019) and “Missing: Half the Story, Journalism as if Gender Matters” (2010), and co-edited “Whose News? The Media and Women’s Issues” (1994/2006), and “Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out” (2003).  

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Terence Fernandez

Managing Editor, The Vibes, Malaysia

Presentation Title: GLOBAL VILLAGE NEWSROOM

Terence Fernandez is the Editor In Chief of PETRA News, which has him managing all print and online news platforms owned by the group. He is also the Managing Editor of The Vibes, the group’s English language news portal.

Terence, has an extensive 25-year career in print and digital media having served in various capacities from chief reporter to managing editor of leading publications and portals The Sun, The Malay Mail and The Edge Communications. He also appears regularly on radio to talk about current affairs. He specialises in governance, public service, politics and local government where his reports have won several accolades including the Malaysia Press Institute (MPI), the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) three consecutive times and several public service awards. His work as a journalist has taken him to over 20 countries including war zones and disaster-ravaged territories.

He has advised public listed companies, agencies and ministries such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC); the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC); the Electoral Reform Committee; Kuala Lumpur City Hall; the Defence Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, on issues in relation to media engagement and stakeholder management.

Born and raised in rural Kelantan, Terence holds a degree in law and a diploma in business administration. He believes in giving back and has spearheaded relief efforts in Malaysia and abroad following natural disasters. He is aware that he is in a position of privilege and believes those as blessed as him should use their platform and voice for the betterment of society.

Source: https://petragroup.my/terence-fernandez/

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Augustine Anthuvan

Communications Consultant, Moderator & Presenter, Former Executive Producer, Channel NewsAsia, Mediacorp, Singapore

Presentation Title: MEDIA AS A CATALYST FOR CHANGE

Augustine Anthuvan is an emcee, moderator-at-large (debates/panel discussions), senior television journalist, executive producer, radio broadcaster, voice talent, media literacy facilitator, and is one of Singapore’s most experienced media trainers. With more than 30 years of training, working with a variety of organisations and people, coupled with over 20 years as a journalist – Augustine brings his wealth of ‘real life’ experiences into the classroom.    

Augustine as an Executive Producer at Channel NewsAsia (2005-2019), produced 102 episodes of ‘Perspectives’ – Channel NewsAsia’s flagship panel discussion programme between 2012 to 2019.

As a senior TV reporter, Augustine has covered numerous assignments in the US, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. He has secured and conducted numerous one-on-one interviews with global heads of states. Among the high profile programmes he was involved with, he was the script writer and co-commentator for the ‘live’ coverage of five state funerals – among them: ‘Farewell to S R Nathan’ (2016) and ‘Farewell to Lee Kuan Yew’ (2015) and was also co-commentator for the 2004 National Day Parade.

Prior to his move to television, Augustine as a Senior Radio Correspondent (1997-2005), interviewed numerous political leaders as well as reported from the heart of major political events in Southeast Asia. One of his noteworthy contributions to radio includes the conceptualization of Singapore’s first and only “live” radio youth forum – “Campus on NewsRadio 938”. Launched in 2003 and held on location at various educational and tertiary institutions, it was subsequently renamed as “Campus on 938LIVE”. His ability to conduct in-depth research coupled with his analytical skills places him in a unique position to offer consultancy and strategic media relations courses for government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, foundations, think tanks and NGOs.

With 40 years of experience in radio, television and audio-visual production, he also lectures on communications and journalism.

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Dr. Peter Rachada Monthienvichienchai

Executive Director/ Founding Member, LiCAS News, Bangkok, Thailand

Presentation Title: COLLABORATING TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

Peter is a founding member and Executive Director of LiCAS.news a Catholic news organisation, founded in October 2019, headquartered in the Roman Catholic Mission of Bangkok, Thailand. LiCAS.news publishes news, opinions and commentary articles and social media posts with the aim of highlighting the inequality, injustice and persecution faced by those living on the fringe of society in Asia, and the intersection of these challenges with the Catholic church’s mission in reaching these people. This includes the activities of the church in finding and being part of the solutions to these problems in Asia.

Taking its name from the Greek word λαϊκός (laïkós) for laypeople and the phonetic similarity to “Like us”, the name aims to underline the role of lay people in the church and the emphasis on engaging with the connected generation.

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Helen Osman

President, Greater Wings, USA
(President, SIGNIS World; Chair, SIGNIS World Journalism Desk)

Introduction ‘Journalism in a Fragmented World’

Helen Osman is president of the international board for SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communications, which has more than 110 members in 90 countries worldwide. SIGNIS’ mission is to engage with media professionals and support Catholic Communicators, to help transform our cultures in the light of the Gospel by promoting human dignity, justice and reconciliation. Osman has served as president of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada (now the Catholic Media Association), and received its highest honor for personal achievement, the St. Francis de Sales Award, in 2012. She began her career in Catholic media working for the diocesan newspaper in Austin, Texas, moving to diocesan communication director and then served as Secretary of Communications for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for eight years. Those years included shepherding media and communications efforts for the papal visits to the United States of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 and Pope Francis in 2015. Today, she is the president of Greater Wings, a firm specializing in communications for mission-driven organizations. While her clients range from highly localized to international in scope, a specialty is providing communication strategies for Roman Catholic dioceses.

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For further information, email the SA Journalism Desk at: signisasia.region@gmail.com

SIGNIS is a non-governmental organization that includes members from over 100 countries. As the “World Catholic Association for Communication”, it brings together radio, television, cinema, video, media education, internet, and new technology professionals. The administrative headquarters of SIGNIS, the General Secretariat, is in Brussels. SIGNIS has consultative status with UNESCO.