World Press Freedom Day 2013

Media Release:                                                                                        

May 3, 2013

World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to celebrate the press and to honour journalists who have demonstrated courage in standing up for media ethics and free expression around the world. 


This year the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is marking World Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of 'Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned Around the World'.

Throughout the region, IFJ affiliates are undertaking a number of activities during the week of May 3.

In South Asia, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) with UNESCO support launches a report on South Asia, the eleventh in an annual series that reviews all developments that have a bearing on media freedom and quality journalism in the region.


South Asia:  IFJ’s South Asia Press Freedom Report for 2013, titled “Building Resistance, Organising for Change”, seeks to bring into sharp focus the diverse experiences of media practitioners in the South Asian region. Over the year under review, these have ranged from the continuing threat of legal action and the growing menace of physical violence, to the challenges posed by new forms of inter-personal communication and engagement with the media and the defence of the traditional values of the craft.


Australia: The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and its professional development arm, the Walkley Foundation will host the 2012 Press Freedom Media Dinner in Sydney on Friday, May 3. The dinner is the media industry’s major fundraising event and recognises that free speech and a free and unfettered press that serves the public good, are the most important guarantors of democracy. Each year, media and business unite to recognise the importance of press freedom and support the many journalists and media workers under pressure in the Asia-Pacific region. In the last year more than 100 media workers worldwide have been killed while doing their jobs - their deaths either accidental or targeted. In the Asia-Pacific region, 32 colleagues have paid the ultimate price.2011Gold Walkley Award winner Sarah Ferguson will deliver the keynote speech.


In the lead up to the event, the MEAA and Walkley Foundation have been running a campaign to support and promote press freedom in the Asia Pacific region: 30 Days of Press Freedom.  Key public figures, journalists, actors, musicians and media commentators have outlined their thoughts on press freedom in words, pictures and sound for the online campaign.


Sri Lanka:The Free Media Movement and the Sri Lanka Press Institute are hosting a a lecture by Mr. Rohan Edrisinha Constitutional Adviser, UNDP in Nepal on ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression and the Rule of Law.


Afghanistan:  The Afghanistan Independent Journalist Association will be participating in an event in Kabul to celebrate and inaugurate the recently formed Afghan Journalist Federation – the AIJA is one of the 9 organisations who make up the new federation.


Maldives:  The Maldives journalists association is launching a T- Shirt campaign this WPFD. The campaign advocates for the introduction of a working journalists act with the slogan "working journalists act: protection".  


New Zealand   New Zealand: On May 3, the NZ Engineering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union (NZEPMU) will hold what has now become the annual N.Z. Press Freedom Debate (a fun/satirical debate) to raise money for the Media Safety and Solidarity Fund at the Backbencher pub in Wellington.


Vanuatu The Media Asosiesen blong Vanuatu, will be holding an event at 9am on the sea front stage in Port Vila - “Safe to Speak”.  The program includes speeches from media organisations, civil society organisations, performances from Youth Against Corruption and Wan Smol Bag.  An web brochure will be launched focussing on media freedom.  The MAV will be announcing their status as IFJ full affiliates at the event. 


China: The IFJ submitted a letter to the Chinese Ambassador in Brussels expressing concern at the number of journalists imprisoned in China awaiting trial on charges of violating the Chinese penal code or anti-terror laws.


India: IFJ’s Indian affiliates, the National Union of Journalists (India), the Indian Journalists' Union and the All India Newspaper Employees Federation will participate in the WPFD event being organised in Delhi by UNESCO titled "Upholding Freedom of Expression through Mainstream and Alternative Media". The event will include the formal release of the SAPFR, panel discussions on "Media Responsibility in the Public Interest" and "Community Media". The keynote speaker would be Bharat Bhushan, former editor of the Mail Today and a frequent participant in IFJ events. Jawhar Sircar, CEO of the public broadcasting entity, Prasar Bharati, would be chief guest.


Indonesia: AJI is organizing a peaceful protest involving all 36 chapters of the union. The protest is to demand the prosecution of those who have perpetrated violence against journalists in Indonesia. In Jakarta, AJI will stage a peaceful protest in front of Indonesian Police Headquarters demanding the completion of cases in the murder of 8 journalists. They are highlighting one case in particular, the case of Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin a.k.a Udin, Yogyakarta journalist who was killed in August 1996.


Philippines: The National Union of Journalists and other media organizations are holding a kite flying event.  Simulkites: Soar High for Press Freedom.  Representatives from media organizations and institutions will fly a kite. Together they will spell out the words "Press Freedom" at 4pm today. Finally the NUJP will hold an annual Press Jam at 7:30 pm in Manila


Nepal:  NUJ-Nepal will be attending various press freedom events that are being held around Nepal to represent their membership.


Pacific Region: ThePacific Freedom Forum in partnership with the Media Association of the Solomon Islands will for the first time, convene a UNESCO Pacific WPFD event in the Solomon Islands. The event will focus on self-regulation for Pacific newsrooms and a regional media ombudsman.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

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