Updated: Jan 10
Chief Human Resource Officer,
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM CONFERENCE BY UN
Every year,3 May honours the basic values of press freedom, the assessment of press freedom throughout the world, the defence of press against assaults on the independence of journalists and their loss of life in the practice of their profession. The United Nations General Assembly declared the World Press Freedom Day in 1993, following a suggestion from the 26th UNESCO session in 1991. This in fact reflected a call for the Windhoek proclamation on media pluralism and freedom made by the African journalists in 1991. The freedom of speech and freedom of the press are fundamental to the UNESCO charter. UNESCO considers that these liberties allow mutual understanding in building a harmony that is permanent.
It serves as an opportunity to educate citizens of abuses of freedom of the Press reminding people that in hundreds of countries across the globe, editors, writers and publishers are abused, threatened, imprisoned and even assassinated while publications are censored, charged, confiscated and closed. It is a day to promote and improve press freedom programs and to examine the state of press freedom globally.
It is also a day for media practitioners to focus on topics related to media freedom and ethical guidelines. It is a symbol of the government’s loyalty to media freedom. Similarly, the world freedom press day is a day to encourage media aimed at restricting or abolishing freedom of the press. It is also a commemorative day for the journalists who died in search of a report. () An innovative, artistic format for combining digital and individual objects was convened on 9th and 10th December 2020 at the World Press Freedom Conference 2020 (hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of Netherlands). The World Press Freedom Day (3rd May) and the International Day to End Impunity for Journalists’ crimes were celebrated together (2nd November). Initially, the conference was scheduled for 22nd to 24th April 2020. The WPFC was postponed until October 2020 due to the continuing COVID- 19 pandemic and had to be replaced.
The digital convention was actively attended by more than 3,500 attendees in 133 countries (66 percent women), streamed online from the World Forum in Hague, and thousands of others lived on welfare networks.
This year WPFC has chosen the title – ‘Journalism without fear or favour’. Independence and media freedom are under threat in many countries. Journalists should be able to do their work without any individual, opinion, ideology or other members having any fear or profit. By identifying the agenda, encouraging, educating and mobilizing people into action, WPFC 2020 wishes to make a contribution to this objective. Journalism’s independence challenges have expanded to new topics, including Internet businesses that have become the key curators of journalistic and cultural content; some business models that have encouraged misinformation and hate speech at the detriment of the journalism’s prominence.
Incitement to hostility towards targeted news outlets and individual reporters and harassment through digital platforms where women journalists and artists are particularly subjected to assault is also growing. There are several old as well as new challenges are being faced by journalists and journalism, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Another factor shaping editorial credibility is long-standing male-gender supremacy of the media.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands, and UNESCO call upon all people, states, journalists and media, justice and law, Internet companies, civilian society, academics and youth to participate in this movement for progressive change. The conferences’ sub-topics were:
· Safety of media workers and journalists
· Professional and unbiased journalism clear of political and economic effects
· Equality of Gender in all media ways
WPFC also offered a unique forum for both media and press activists to participate and even create a new alliance with a large audience. Other events were also discussed in various formats during the conference and festival. Workshops, arts, testimonies, debate etc.
WPFC 2020 aims to emphasize the importance of Freedom of Press worldwide. This is all the more important in the light of recent events, such as the COVID- 19 pandemic, but also the increase in cases of violence against media reporting demonstrations around the world, as stated by UNESCO. The program of the conference comprises of global opening and closing shows, panel discussions, talk shows, discussions, and interviews with leading experts, the Annual Academic Conference and the First Annual Legal Actors Forum. Pressing issues related to media freedom was discussed, such as – The effect of COVID- 19 on the sustainability of media; New types of attacks on journalists and the gender dimension of security; Addressing impunity for violence against journalists; and the complexities of regulating online content.
Several events were held during this conference such as:
· High level dialogue
· Difference Day
· Webinar: Media Independence in Times of Crisis
· Celebrations around the world
· Webinar: Safety of Journalists amid COVID-19
UNESCO and UNDP are joining forces to foster confirmed COVID- 19 knowledge. UNESCO urges the media, journalists, government agencies, coordinated civil society and digital marketers to share activities that facilitate validated governance of the information circulating on social media among their audience members.
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Legit Originals, Volume 1, Issue 4 (December 2020)
Happy to announce that, Legit by Internationalism, The Magazine on Legal Theory by Internationalism, is featured in the Top 100 Legal Blogs of India, by Feedspot.
Find the link here: