IFJ Involved in Media Freedom Discussion at Major UNESCO event

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) took part in a key discussion at today’s UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Conference which focused on the crucial need for media freedom in building balanced, accountable and responsible governments and societies across the world.

IFJ’s Head of Human Rights and Safety, Ernest Sagaga, was one of the panel members at a major plenary session discussion at the conference which considered the issue of ‘Media freedom for a Better future: Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda.’

The session discussed the need for freedom of expression, including press freedom, in society, stating that it is an essential pillar of good governance because of its role in ensuring accountability and transparency.

Backing the stance of the UNESCO, the IFJ believes that free media, on all platforms, provides a forum for discussion across a range of more specific issues pertaining to development, such as environment, science, gender, youth, peace, poverty and participation.

The speakers at the event included representatives from the Global Freedom of Expression Project, Internews, WAN-IFRA and the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD).

Tomorrow, on the second day of the conference, the IFJ will be hosting a high profile Safety of Journalists event aimed at highlighting press issues concerning the safety of journalists across the world and giving first-hand accounts of the daily experiences journalists face while doing their work.

Participants, including journalists’ leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Iraq and Somalia, will discuss the safety crisis in their countries as well as strategies and programmes that IFJ affiliates have adopted to contribute to the protection of journalists such as training in life-saving skills and multi-level advocacy in combating impunity for violence on journalists.

There also will be a photo exhibition on the crisis in Ukraine and a demonstration on cutting edge safety equipment.

The IFJ event will take place from 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm in Room VI at the UNESCO Conference, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, and focus on the safety of journalists.

For more information about coming along to the side event, contact: ernest.sagaga@ifj.org