Protection of journalists: World Press Freedom Day main theme



Sun, 30 Apr 2017 - 03:16 GMT


Sun, 30 Apr 2017 - 03:16 GMT

World Press Freedom Day 2017 - Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia

World Press Freedom Day 2017 - Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia

CAIRO - 30 April 2017: UNESCO is going to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3, in Jakarta, Indonesia this year with a celebration lasting May 1-4. This year’s global theme of World Press Freedom Day is “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.”

Participants will examine current challenges facing the media, including the continuous trend of worldwide attacks against those who bring journalism to the public.

Before the main program of the international conference starts, a safety training workshop will be organized by the Indonesia’s Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalist) May 1-2. The training will be supported by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and Norway. The training forms part of a larger project in the region aimed at strengthening the professional skills of journalists and editors.

The four-day conference will focus on journalists’ safety and impunity for crimes committed against them. The topics will be tackled by experts from across the world in three sessions, each providing a different angle. They will also discuss different ways to increase awareness of the importance of free and honest journalism in promoting peace and justice, supporting and enhancing the effectiveness of institutions, and the spirit of accountability and comprehensiveness.

Indonesian Vice President Yousuf Kalla will open the event on May 3 with the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. The ceremony includes a plenary session along with six parallel sessions on media and information to form a shield against hate speech, inclusiveness, gender equality and violent extremism. This is in addition to a special press freedom session devoted to Southeast Asia.

The first session, entitled “Journalists’ Safety and Tackling Impunity: How can crimes against media workers be addressed?”, will be organized by the press freedom NGO International Media Support. In this session, all participants will discuss the current global and national mechanisms in place and examine new ways to counter violence against the media

The second session will feed into the multi-stakeholder consultation on strengthening the U.N.’s plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

A third session will examine prospects to implement regional and national initiatives promoting press freedom and safety, in the form a round table entitled “Press Freedom in Southeast Asia: the way forward“ It will be organized by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

On the evening of May 3, Bokova will present the UNESCO/Guerermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 to Eritrean journalist Dweit Ishaq, currently imprisoned in Eritrea. His daughter, Bethelim Isaac, will receive the award on his behalf at an official ceremony hosted by Indonesian President Goku Widodo.

On the morning of May 4, a plenary session entitled “Spotlight on Investigative Journalism” will be held, followed by six parallel sessions on a range of topics such as the impact of false news on the press, the safety of journalists and the dissemination of the internet. Three meetings will be held from May 2-4 discussing artistic freedom.

Former President of Timor-Leste and 1996Nobel Peace Prize winner José Ramos-Horta will be among the keynote speakers.

The celebration will be organized by the Indonesian Government and the Indonesian Press Council.



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