IFJ Launches Journalism Resources on Conflict Reporting and Combating Criminal Defamation

©IFJ Global Report on Criminal Defamation           ©IFJ Report on Conflict Reporting in Sri Lanka

The Asia-Pacific office of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today launched two specialist resources for affiliates and journalists working in the Asia-Pacific region.

Decriminalising defamation and On the Road to Peace are both timely and hands-on resources developed by journalists for journalists and their associations in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The launch of these resources comes at a crucial time for journalists by addressing two of the most distressing issues facing journalists across the region: reporting conflict and defeating criminal defamation,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.

The first resource, Decriminalising Defamation: an IFJ campaign resource for defeating criminal defamation, available in English, French and Spanish, arose out of the IFJ’s global “Don’t Jail Journalists” campaign.

The resource focuses on the campaigning side of eliminating criminal defamation. Considering of the recent criminal convictions in Sumatera in Indonesia, the upcoming case of Supinya Klangnarong in Thailand, the increased penalties for defamation in Pakistan and the cases brought against journalists in Tamil Nadu in India, the booklet is a timely resource for the Asia-Pacific region. It contains case studies from Sri Lanka and Ghana, two countries that have successfully campaigned to have defamation struck off the criminal codes.

“Journalists are facing increasingly hostile governments prepared to use their criminal codes and any other mechanisms to silence free media: this resource gives practical examples on how to defeat criminal defamation,“ said Park.

The other resource, On the Road to Peace, available in English, Tamil and Sinhala is a comprehensive report of the United States Institute of Peace-supported IFJ conflict reporting project in Sri Lanka.

The report presents the findings of the research into journalists’ attitudes towards and experiences of reporting conflict in Sri Lanka, and includes case studies on the role media plays in conflict situations. It is designed to help journalists learn important lessons from real situations about the

impact of reporting and how it can be improved.

“The report forms part of a suite of training materials available on conflict reporting which the IFJ hopes will be picked up by other journalists’ organisations across the Asia-Pacific region,” said Park.

Copies of both reports can be found at www.ifj-asia.org

For further information on either of the reports contact IFJ Asia at [email protected]

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries