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Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Youth on Screen kicks off to improve youth’s representation in TV

Fri, 17/04/2015 - 15:40

”Youth on Screen” aims at promoting TV programming that better responds to the needs of young people, facilitates their engagement and improves the portrayal of young women and men in its content. The conference launching this initiative will bring together around 50 participants from across the Southern Mediterranean region, including media professionals and civil society advocates working on youth issues, as well as programme-makers from EU countries.

Sessions will examine trends related to the needs and preferences of young people as an audience, the way in which they are represented and the extent to which their voices find a space in mainstream media, particularly television. Innovative formats from both sides of the Mediterranean will be showcased, including those creatively using social media and other online platforms to stimulate youth involvement.  Young civil society representatives will share their views about the challenges of working with media actors, and examples of successful collaboration will be discussed.

Representing a unique forum for youth to engage in direct dialogue with senior media managers and TV producers, “Youth on Screen” is expected to help shape the development of TV programmes that more closely reflect the realities of youth and better respond to their expectations. It will promote the engagement of youth with media, including contributors to content production. The initiative will also facilitate training and mentoring for TV programme development, in-country meetings between programme teams and senior managers of media outlets, and a number of sub-regional gatherings of stakeholders concerned.

NET-MED Youth, a project implemented by UNESCO, includes a component encouraging the fair and objective representation of youth through quality media content; while MedMedia, which is implemented by a consortium led by BBC Media Action, facilitates media reforms and promotes public service broadcasting in the region. The Youth on Screen initiative also enjoys support from the Jordan Media Institute, the European Broadcasting Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

You can follow NET-MED youth activity online through #netmedyouth.

Legal Leaks training in Ankara: Empowering Turkish journalists to access information from European institutions and public bodies in Europe

Wed, 15/04/2015 - 09:49

To help media professionals access information held by public bodies at the EU level as well as in Turkey and other countries, a Legal Leaks training seminar was organized by UNESCO in cooperation with Access Info Europe, P24 and the SEENPM. The event took place in Ankara on 10 and 11 April 2015 and was attended by 30 participants.

“This training seminar is designed to empower journalists to use the right of access to information in order to hold public authorities to account and to produce stories of public interest” said Victoria Anderica, campaigner and researcher at Access Info Europe.

The training opened with a roundtable discussion on 10 April 2015 on the topic of access to information and media accountability. Participating in the debate were national experts and media professionals: Faruk Bildirici, Yavuz Baydar, Sezin Öney and Ciğdem Toker and international freedom of information (FOI) experts: Staffan Dallhöf and Gavin Sheridan.

On 11 April 2015, Victoria Anderica gave an introduction on the right of access to information and presented the Legal Leaks Toolkit on how to obtain information from public bodies and how to appeal refusals. Each participant received a copy of the Toolkit, which is designed for journalists working in newspapers, radio and television, as well as bloggers. The Turkish language version includes specific guidance on the national legal framework in Turkey. The Toolkits can be found online at this address:

Gavin Sheridan, an expert on access to information in Ireland and across the EU, followed with a session explaining how to systematically integrate FOI requests into journalistic research. He gave different examples of how he successfully used laws from countries besides Ireland to write stories about his own country. He explained how new technologies and databases can be used to extract and report on information obtained through FOI requests, highlighting that “there are enormous opportunities for business in journalism in the digital space. When using FOI laws, you can build a system to get stories all the time.”

Staffan Dahllöf explained the way that EU institutions function and how to request information at the EU level. He clarified the differences between the EU Commission, the Parliament, and the Council, and presented various websites and tools where information can be accessed, in particular the request platform run by Access Info.

Adeline Hulin from UNESCO concluded the training by saying: “using access to information laws can invigorate and strengthen journalism, thereby contributing to higher quality public debates, increased public participation in decision-making, and thus to more open and democratic societies.”

This event took place within the framework of the EU/UNESCO project “Media Accountability in South East Europe” which started in January 2013. This was the final training in a series of local events that took place under the project, the others being in Tirana, Sarajevo, Pristina, Podgorica and Belgrade, with a regional event held in Skopje, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in October 2014.

African States benefit from IFAP’s efforts to establish policy frameworks

Tue, 14/04/2015 - 17:09

The event, which attracted some 140 senior policy-makers representing 14 African countries across the continent and also including representatives of IFAP structures, UNESCO National Commissions and universities, was held from 26 to 27 March in South Africa, under the theme Information Ethics and Digital Opportunities.

In her message to conference participants, Ms Chafica Haddad, Chair of the IFAP Intergovernmental Council, underscored the importance of the conference and its key role in “creating a forum for regional policy dialogue, learning and reflection amongst policy makers to raise awareness, shape national strategies, foster regional cooperation and strengthen African nations in their effort to harness the opportunities of Knowledge Societies”.

Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, was the guest of honour and keynote speaker. In accepting a first edition of the newly published seven-volume toolkit on information ethics developed by the ACEIE, she commended the Center of Excellence on the tremendous progress that they had made since 2007, noting that “As South Africa rolls-out its broadband infrastructure towards 100% national penetration by 2020, information ethics is going to be our next challenge. This conference allows us to interrogate how we should use information ethics to defend our identities, cultures and traditions of Ubuntu (doing good to others)”. The Deputy Minister also recognized the contribution that UNESCO and IFAP have provided through their ongoing support.

Ms Menesia Muinjo of the Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC) remarked that “This event is giving participants an opportunity to learn from one another in terms of how to coordinate IFAP activities in their respective countries and particularly to implement IFAP objectives based on existing partnerships, as long as the work is done. What is coming out is that a lot is being done in terms of the IFAP pillars, but these need to be efficiently synergized and packaged as country positions.”

Hezekiel Dlamini, Communication and Information Adviser at the UNESCO Harare Regional Office opined that, ”To achieve the ideal goal of safe-access-to-information or access-to-safe-information, will take leadership at the political, social, academic and other levels to address the current and emerging ethical issues of the information society in order to create the much needed trust in our digital world.”    

The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001. It provides a platform for international policy discussions, cooperation and the development of guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge. The Programme supports Member States to develop and implement national information policy and strategy frameworks.

For more on this story we invite you to visit the following links:

A language tool in Arabic for enhanced international cooperation to be discussed at UNESCO next week

Mon, 13/04/2015 - 16:17

The three-day international expert meeting will bring together leading experts, researchers, policymakers, Internet Governance and IT sector representatives working in the subject-area to provide their professional guidance and assistance for the validation of the “Glossary of Internet Governance terms in Arabic” (IGG), a language tool developed in cooperation with the above mentioned partners. The experts will be also expected to discuss and endorse more than two hundreds terms-candidates and provide concrete recommendations for the further application of the language tool at the national and regional levels.

The empirical evidence demonstrates that some linguistic communities could have limited opportunities to be engaged in international debates, such as the debate on internet governance, if they are not supported with appropriate language tools. They are likely to face complications in formulating and articulating their position, contributing to the debate, and transmitting their messages, or even to be misunderstood by other speakers. The project “Developing language tools and building institutional capacities with respect to the promotion of Arabic language on the Internet and in multi-stakeholder processes” initiated by UNESCO and ICANN, aims at facilitating the dialogue on the use of Arabic on the Internet, in an effective, efficient, and coordinated manner.

The overall initiatives of UNESCO on the promotion of multilingualism in cyberspace are undertaken by the Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector, which is responsible as well for the realization of the concept of knowledge societies that are built on the key principles of inclusion, openness, diversity and pluralism. The Division also monitors the implementation of UNESCO’s only normative instrument in this field - the "Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Access to Cyberspace”, adopted by its General Conference in 2003.

Register Now! UNESCO’s Online Media and Information Literacy Course for Youth

Thu, 09/04/2015 - 17:16

This entry-level online course will provide youth with basic media and information competencies to become critical citizens and agents of change. The course is designed to enable youth to:

  • Understand why media and other information providers are important to development and democratic societies;
  • Recognise a need for information and to locate, access, organise and carefully evaluate information and the content of media and other information providers;
  • Use and share information based on moral principles or accepted standards of social behaviour - inlight of opportunities and potential risks;
  • Interact with media and other information providers to freely express themselves, share their culture and learn about other cultures, promote gender equality, and participate in democratic and development activities.

The course is based on the MIL Curriculum and the Freedom of Expression (FOE) Toolkit published by UNESCO. A central theme throughout  this 10-week course is how media and information literacy can enable youth to be actively involved in intercultural dialogue, advocating for equality between women/girls and men/boys, and freedom of expression. 

The course is offered through Athabasca University’s online e-Lab, using the learning management system, Moodle. Most sessions will be self-directed, with ongoing interaction with the course presenters in the online space. Athabasca is a Canadian university that holds a UNESCO Chair on open education resources. Athabasca University is an associate member of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.

Applicants should be youth (females and males between the ages 15-25). Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from Athabasca University.

In order to successfully complete this course participants will need regular access to a computer and Internet access to download documents, listen to podcasts and view online videos.

To apply, please click here. Application must be completed by 20 April 2015. There are no associated fees to participants who wish to do this course.

This MIL course includes a research component being carried out by UNESCO 

Online Media and Information Literacy Course Units

  • Unit 1 – Media and Information Literacy (MIL): An Introduction
  • Unit 2 – Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue
  • Unit 3 – Media and Information Literacy: Evaluating and Using Information and Media Content
  • Unit 4 – Media and Information Literacy: Using Research and Analysis to Produce Your Own Information and Media Content
  • Unit 5 – Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Information, Freedom of the Press
  • Unit 6 - Representations of Gender in the Media, Books, on the Internet and in History
  • Unit 7 – Media and Information Ethics in Relation to the Needs of Big Business, Politics and Development
  • Unit 8 – Understanding and Evaluating the World of Advertising
  • Unit 9 – The Challenges and Opportunities of Media, Libraries and New Technologies for Youth
  • Unit 10 – Engaging with Media and Using New Technology and Information for Social Action

UNESCO-supported Report on Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media launched in Beijing

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 12:15

Opening the seminar, Madam Meng Xiaosi, Vice-President of All-China Women’s Federation noted that “to transform gender equality from words to action, from legislation to practice…in this process, media is indispensable in promoting the value of gender equality, as well as contributing to the better implementation of national policies on gender equality.

Ms Eunice Smith, Officer in Charge of UNESCO’s Beijing Office, pointed out that UNESCO takes a very strong stand on ending violence against women and on promoting gender equality and women’s rights. Talking about the Report, she noted that “no woman, or any other person for that matter, should have to face violence and threats – we all have the equal right to live free from violence and fear – and that includes female journalists. As such, this report is rather significant in that it identifies the forms of violence and threats faced by women media professionals, as well as the pathologies these threats and violence take, making it possible to develop policies, strategies and actions which can be taken to prevent, protect and eventually prosecute violence against women media professionals.”   

Ms Irene Giner-Reichl, Ambassador of Embassy of the Republic of Austria in Beijing shared her memory of the Fourth World Conference on Women she attended twenty years ago in Beijing, which reiterated in the Beijing Declaration that “women’s rights are human rights.” She identified violence against women and women and the media as strategic objectives in the Platform for Action. She noted the changes and progress observed along this twenty year journey, as well as new and remaining challenges.

Ms Alana Barton, Project Director of the International Women’s Media and co-author of the Report presented the development and shared insights of this study with the Chinese audiences. The study noted for example nearly two-thirds of the respondents have experienced “intimidation, threats and abuse” in relation to their work. In addition, half of the respondents answering whether they have experienced sexual harassment while exercising their profession replied affirmatively. Ms. Barton observed that these experiences are taking place all around the world and that many respondents highlighted a lack of training and resources available to prepare them for the possibility of facing violence and harassment in the workplace. Thus the recommendations which are presented towards the end of the publication provide important information on steps which can be taken to prevent and end threats, abuse and violence against women media professionals.

At the conference, experts from All-China Journalists’ Association, China Academy of Social Sciences, Women’s Studies Institute of China of All-China Women’s Federation, Peking University, Women’s University, Communication University of China, China Women’s News, Phoenix TV and NetEase also gave presentations on their perspectives and experiences in promoting gender equality in and through media in China.

Professor Liu Liqun, Chairholder of UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender and President of China Women’s University closed the forum. She noted that this seminar served as a review of the mission of women development, and also an appeal to media social responsibility. The gather of experts and scholars from different domains brought diversified viewpoints to the debate and promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The seminar was also inspired by UNESCO’s initiate “Women Make the News”, which is a global action launched by UNESCO aimed at fixing attention on issues relating to gender equality in and through the media, driving debate and encouraging action-oriented solutions until global objectives are met. This year, UNESCO joins forces with the Global Alliance on Media and Gender to launch the annual Women Make the News 2015 initiative under the theme “Yes we must! Reaching Gender Equality in the Media by 2030.”

Seeking creative digital developers

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 17:12

The ‘Empowering Local Radios with ICTs’ project works to build the capacities of local and community radio stations in key information and communication technology skills. There are currently 32 radio stations in seven African countries that are part of the project, with the eventual goal to expand outside of this region and become a model for capacity-building in vulnerable communities worldwide. The project has been a great success so far, with radio stations becoming increasingly engaged with their audiences and much more able to address issues of concern in their local communities, especially those of women and girls.

The brief has been left relatively free and open to allow for the most creative and novel ideas. Elements of virtual exhibits, online galleries and even socially-minded video games could be built into a final product that would be unlike anything seen before in this domain.

With the development of this new virtual experience, this important UNESCO project will receive the global attention that it deserves, and have a large role in assuring the continued future for the project and facilitating its expansion into other disadvantaged communities across the world.

Call for Proposals: Empowering Local Radios with ICTs (PDF)

To submit a proposal for this contract, please send a brief outline of the proposed final product, along with visual mockups, an outline of previous relevant experience and a proposed fee in USD, to t.francis(a) on or before 15 April, 2015 at 12 pm Paris time.

UNESCO presented new publication on the Role of Internet intermediaries at RightsCon 2015

Fri, 03/04/2015 - 15:39

“UNESCO’s publication on intermediaries serves a broader framework and is a useful resource for civil society to promote online freedom of expression through intermediaries”, said a participant at UNESCO’s session in RightsCon 2015.

With the rise of Internet intermediaries that play a mediating role between authors of content and audiences on the internet, this UNESCO publication provides in-depth case studies and analysis on how internet intermediaries impact on freedom of expression and associated fundamental rights such as privacy. It also offers policy recommendations on how intermediaries and states can improve respect for internet users’ right to freedom of expression.

UNESCO’s research was well received by participants of RightsCon 2015, an annual event widely attended by members of civil society, the technical community and private sector actors to promote an open Internet and digital rights globally and in South East Asia. UNESCO received positive feedback on the publication and useful suggestions from the participants to further this research by including more categories of intermediaries and examining smaller Internet companies in the developing world.

UNESCO also presented the research outcome at a pre-event “Manila principles on Intermediary Liability” on 23 April 2015, and contributed to the drafting process of the Manila Principles led by civil society organizations which was launched during the RightsCon meeting on 24 March 2014.  The Manila Principles affirmed that Intermediaries should be shielded by law from liability for third-party content. They also affirmed that online content must not be restricted without a judicial order, with transparency and accountability being built into law and content restriction policies and practices related to Intermediaries.

UNESCO has been pleased to work on this research project on Internet intermediaries with the Open Society Foundations, the Internet Society, and the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.  The current publication covers three intermediary types - Internet Service Providers, Search Engines and Social Media. It will be followed by future studies on other intermediary types, including data processing, web hosting providers, cloud computing services, and domain name registries, as well as online media with substantial user-generated content. 

The research also helps to inform UNESCO’s implementation of a comprehensive and consultative multi-stakeholder Internet study as mandated by the Organization’s 37th General Conference Resolution 52. The study, due in 2015, covers UNESCO’s key competence areas of access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical dimensions of the information society, and contains possible options for future actions.

Related links:

Other publications in the Internet Freedom Series are:

UNESCO welcomes feedback on new draft indicators for media viability

Fri, 03/04/2015 - 14:29

They follow the same methodology, structure and presentation as the UNESCO-IPDC Media Development Indicators (MDIs), an internationally endorsed tool for assessing national media landscapes and identifying media development gaps. The new indicators on viability will be integrated, in a ‘lite’ version, into the existing MDI framework.

This will enable UNESCO to collect data on the viability of media as economically sustainable entities, whether commercial or non-profit, when evaluating national media landscapes. In addition, a more elaborate and detailed version of the indicators has been developed to enable comprehensive stand-alone studies on media viability.

The media viability indicators have been designed following a consultative process.  A first draft, prepared on UNESCO’s behalf by Robert Picard, Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, was discussed at a UNESCO workshop on ‘Media, Sustainability and the post-2015 agenda’ in Montevideo on 16 December 2014. The workshop was attended by 25 media experts from Latin America.

In January 2015, further feedback was received through an online consultation process involving some 60 media and media monitoring experts from all regions.

UNESCO is now seeking to expand this consultation process by publishing the revised indicators on its website. The Organization invites experts to provide comments on the proposed indicators, taking into account the need for the indicators to be operational and the practical implications of cost and time for collecting the relevant measurement data. Attention should be given also to the different challenges that may exist depending on the context in which the indicators are being applied.

To view the draft indicators, please click here. All feedback should be sent to Saorla McCabe, Coordinator of the MDI initiative at UNESCO, by 30 April: s.mccabe(at) 

Once finalized, UNESCO intends to pilot these indicators in selected countries to help relevant actors develop appropriate responses that can promote media viability as an important pillar of media development.

UNESCO and TENCENT partner to Create an Open Digital Library on Traditional Games

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 10:03

The joint project will innovatively use ICTs to collect, digitally preserve, and disseminate information about traditional games around the world. It aims to safeguard such knowledge as a living heritage in the public domain, narrow the digital divide, and promote the rapprochement of cultures.

“Traditional games reflect the wisdom and vitality of nations and people,” said the Vice-president of Tencent, Chinese leader on social media and online games, during the launch in the presence of Mr. Qin Changwei, Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO. Mr. Cheng also said he is happy Tencent Interactive Entertainment is initiating this “journey and adventure” with UNESCO.

Dr Banerjee stressed that universal access to knowledge, especially when facilitated by open solutions, fosters the empowerment of citizens and their peaceful and sustainable development. He anticipated that UNESCO will use a participatory and open approach, through ICTs and other media, in the development of this digital repository, and he stressed the importance that such knowledge remains in the public domain.

Under the pilot phase, Tencent is providing financial and in-kind contribution to UNESCO to develop the collection methodology, and to test it in two pilot countries in Asia. All content developed by UNESCO will be licensed under Creative Commons as per UNESCO’s Open Access policy.

IPDC extends financial support for Ebola projects in Africa

Fri, 27/03/2015 - 16:05

The proposals, submitted by proponents in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are in line with UNESCO's Strategic Response to Ebola, which underlines the need to strengthen communication systems in the above countries.

The funds will be used to enhance community radio infrastructure, issue reporting guidelines, train investigative journalists and mobilize women's participation and engagement in media.

Guy Berger, secretary to the IPDC Secretariat and director of the Freedom of Expression and Media Development Division at UNESCO, reminded the eight-country Bureau members chaired by Albana Shala (Netherlands) that media development interventions introduced during the Ebola outbreak must be sustained through further capacity building.

"If there is already a strong, pluralistic, free and independent media system in a country, then that counts as good preparedness to deal with disaster," he emphasized.

In reinforcing the point, Albana Shala, IPDC Chairperson, argued that "the three countries, which have experienced war and conflict, have not received much support from the IPDC in the past thirty years. They merit our attention now more than ever."

The Bureau members agreed that without information, one inadvertently faces the risk of Ebola contamination in the Mano River Region.

Recent efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone demonstrate commitment to achieving zero status of Ebola cases in 2015 and to strengthening public institutions to contain the disease and its impact.  Attention to the media landscape and its development in all three countries is of paramount importance if the existing media infrastructure is to continue playing a fundamental and long-lasting public service role.

During the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 79 new Ebola cases including 1 in Liberia. Despite large-scale information and education campaigns, many communities are still resistant to the public health messages put out by authorities and international organizations, according to the non-governmental organization, Doctors Without Borders.

Ghanaian media group gives support to UNESCO’s IPDC

Fri, 27/03/2015 - 15:57

Ankomah made the announcement during the ongoing IPDC Bureau meeting at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

He explained: “We recognize the importance of the IPDC in building journalists’ capacity in elections reporting. We thus consider our contribution as part of our effort at building a partnership with the Programme”.

He added that the IPDC had enormous capacity to “influence politicians and policy-makers” on matters of freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists. 

Which is why Ankomah called upon the IPDC to urge its African Member States, including Ghana, to enact a Freedom of Information law, as a way of acceding to the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

Such a move, he explained, would open up government data and ensure journalists were protected from political pressures associated with reporting on sensitive issues.

Acknowledging this contribution, IPDC Chairperson, Albana Shala, thanked Ankomah, saying that the contribution by Allied News Ltd was facilitated by the Ghanaian Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, HE Johanna Odonkor Svanikier .

She said: “This contribution gives the much-needed visibility to the IPDC. Indeed, every contribution helps to sustain this unique inter-governmental programme”.

The IPDC Bureau meeting will conclude later today, after considering such other issues as the IPDC’s niche in the wider media development environment as well as responding to strategic gender issues in programme implementation.

Mr Ankomah shared with the Bureau meeting of the IPDC the role of his media organization in opinion research and their reportage had contributed to the success of Ghana’s elections.

An Asia-Pacific Memory of the World capacity building initiative organized in China

Fri, 27/03/2015 - 15:28

This training workshop seeks to support and equip with necessary skills and nomination strategies under-represented Member States in the Asia Pacific Region or who have no items inscribed on the MOW international register and who lack experience in identifying and promoting their documentary heritage within the framework of the Memory of the World Programme. 31 participants from 7 countries are taking part in the capacity building activity, namely from China, the DPR of Korea, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Solomon Islands, and Viet Nam.  Participants have been selected from national heritage institutions in order to represent National Archives, Historical & Provincial Archives, the National Museum of Myanmar, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center in Viet Nam and the National Library of the DPR of Korea.

The Director-General of the State Archives Administration of China, Mr Yang Dongquan, opened the event by emphasizing the strong commitment of China to the preservation and promotion of documentary and cultural heritage of the Asia Pacific countries at  provincial, national, regional and international levels. Shortly after the Chinese national MOW committee was established, a ‘China Documentary Heritage Programme’ was established in 2000. Over the last 15 years, the Programme contributed to preserve and promote the country’s rich documentary heritage and some 113 items were inscribed on the national MOW register. The Programme not only succeeded in   building bridges for a much needed cooperation among national memory institutions, but also in providing critical financial and technological support for the preservation of endangered archives. As a current MOWCAP Chair, China expressed a strong commitment and wish to play a more active role in promoting the MOW objectives and making the Programme better known not only in the region but also globally by supporting new initiatives.

The UNESCO representative, Ms Iskra Panevska, Programme Specialist at the Knowledge Societies Division, pointed out that the Memory of the World Register has a very deep meaning. She argued that the Memory of the World Programme is not just about documents and books, but that it is deeply anchored in human experiences, it matters for belonging and identity, and carries universal value. She emphasized that from UNESCO’s perspective the Programme encompasses the great diversity of humanity’s expressions, in all languages, in all forms, coming from all cultures and it seeks to safeguard and promote humanity’s unique documentary heritage for the benefit of all. The Programme also aims at encouraging the quest for history and its impact, for knowledge of future generations and for sharpening their value systems.

The workshop will close with a session in which the three teams of participants will present six draft nominations which they have elaborated during the workshop.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

UNESCO builds knowledge for protecting journalists

Fri, 27/03/2015 - 14:46

Colombia has evolved a system over 15 years to protect journalists, and this has helped to strongly reduce the numbers of journalists killed in that country, said Carlos Cortés. He presented a wiki that details the way the system works, highlighting the importance of a centrally-driven initiative and integration of protection with legal actions against those who attack journalists.

France’s TV5 Monde has a system in place for rapid response to danger, said Yves Bigot, Director-General of the station. The broadcaster’s protection systems liaise closely with state authorities, but not at the expense of independence of journalists, he noted. Tracking technology enables live monitoring of the safety of international correspondents in the field, who also need to report to editors at least every 12 hours.

He warned that information about local movement could sometimes be compromised by betrayals from associated staff, exposing journalists to kidnapping and ransom demands.

States have a role to play in regulating that media companies should provide protection for journalists, said Monir Zaarour of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). He further stated that after the Charlie Hebdo killings, safety issues had entered into the minds of every journalist and their family worldwide.

Instead of relying on costly international trainers with translators to empower journalists in self-protection, IFJ has developed a programme in Africa and the Arab States to capacitate local trainers to deliver the knowledge and skill.

The stress of working as a journalist needs to be recognised and responded to, said Kenyan psychologist Dinah Kituyi. Her experience assessed journalists in East Africa showed high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as problems of denial and emotional numbing.

Delegates from Denmark, Peru, Sweden, Brazil, Bangladesh, Algeria and Niger took the floor in response to the speakers.

The concept note for this panel states: “in a global world, to stop journalists being killed anywhere, it is necessary to stop the attacks everywhere. There should be no space for “precedents” and copycat killings; instead journalists need to be protected, and perpetrators of attacks must be brought to justice. Sharing experiences and building practical responses will give concrete effect to the basic norm that violence against journalism cannot be permitted.”

The IPDC meeting also served to launch the new UNESCO publication “Building Digital Safety for Journalists”.

UNESCO’s IPDC is key to safety of journalists

Thu, 26/03/2015 - 16:29

He noted that IPDC was a vehicle to share international experiences in the safety of journalists, highlighting lessons that “are no longer distant to Western Europe – such as protection systems for journalists, training of trainers to optimize capacity-building efforts, and support for journalists suffering from trauma.”

Mr Engida added: “the safety of journalists is truly a global effort, and the IPDC’s support for activities in one part of the world can increasingly be of help elsewhere.”

In echoing Engida’s remarks, IPDC Chairperson, Albana Shala, further highlighted IPDC’s role in advocating for journalists' safety online and offline, adding that ‘killings of journalists, if unpunished, tend to make checks on power impossible’.

These IPDC concerns about journalistic safety and other aspects of media development were subsequently taken up in an analytical summary of projects supported by the IPDC over the 2013-2014 period.

In presenting the report, Fackson Banda, a programme specialist responsible for an IPDC initiative called Knowledge-Driven Media Development, pointed out that a significant number of projects supported by IPDC were relevant to the issues.

The IPDC Bureau is currently meeting to examine almost 100 project proposals submitted from all over the world as part of its drive to improve the media condition in terms of freedom of expression, capacity development for journalists and technological innovation.

Debate to cover international sharing of experience about protecting journalists

Wed, 25/03/2015 - 16:57

How Kenya deals with problems of stress on journalists is the subject of discussion by Dinah van Altena Kituyi, an expert speaker in the debate “After Charlie: strengthening the safety of journalists”, scheduled at UNESCO for Friday 27 March.

The event is part of a meeting of the Bureau of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. The IPDC is the cradle of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Ms Kituyi will speak about the nightmares, anger and emotional numbing experienced by Kenyan journalists who have been subjected to threats and worse. 

She has extensive experience in counselling media people, including journalists in exile, and is a contributor to the publication “Images that stay forever” about their stress in relation to covering massacres in 2012 and 2013.

The effects of stress are damaged relationships at home, substance abuse and ongoing unhappiness. The recommendations Ms Kituyi will speak about include complementing psychological support with awareness raising and research, and including stress as part of safety training in schools of journalism.  

Another speaker sharing international experience at the meeting is Mr Carlos Cortés, an expert who is researching the development of police protection of journalists in Colombia. He will describe the evolution of different structures that evaluate and respond to journalists under threat.

The Colombian system is widely recognised as a pioneering step whereby a state can ensure that journalists can withstand intimidation and be shielded from attack.

Mr Monir Zaarour, of the International Federation of Journalists, will speak at the meeting on a model of training trainers as a way to maximise skills-sharing amongst journalists in regard to self-protection. This has been implemented especially in the Arab region.

The role of media institutions in terms of supporting the safety of journalists will be covered by Mr Yves Bigot, Director-General of TV5Monde.

Delegations of Member States as well as the media have been invited to the meeting, and a video of the proceedings will be put online in order to spread the information further.

UNESCO’s IPDC Bureau to support scores of media projects

Mon, 23/03/2015 - 16:57

An amount of approximately $1m will be shared out amongst the projects that are selected, with the money coming this year from extra-budgetary contributions made by Andorra, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The 8-member Bureau of the IPDC will make the decisions at its 59th meeting on 26 and 27 March, at UNESCO Headquarters. This programme was started in 1980, and over the years it has disbursed over $100m to media development projects in developing countries.

During the meeting, the Bureau will also discuss an analytical report on projects that were supported over the past year, as well as how to promote gender mainstreaming in IPDC-funded projects.

Algeria, Bangladesh, Denmark, Ghana, the Netherlands, Niger, Peru and Poland make up the members of the 2015-16 Bureau, as elected by the 39-Member State IPDC Council in November 2014.

The meeting will also discuss IPDC’s four special initiatives – covering the safety of journalists, media development indicators, excellence in journalism education, and knowledge-driven media development.

The agenda of the meeting includes a debate on Friday 27th titled "After Charlie: Strengthening the safety of journalists".

Speakers with expertise about protection of journalists’ safety in Colombia, Kenya, France and the Arab region will share their experiences and engage with Member States.

Other items on the agenda for the Bureau include examining the niche and priorities of IPDC, as well as setting communication and fundraising targets to increase the impact of the Programme.

Building Digital Safety for Journalism: UNESCO launches a new publication

Fri, 20/03/2015 - 16:07

Parallel to the growing digitisation of journalism which brings unprecedented benefits to both producers and consumers of journalism, there are worrying trends that have emerged. This publication thus identifies at least 12 digital threats, including illegal or arbitrary digital surveillance, location tracking, and software and hardware exploits without the knowledge of the target. Further examples that are considered are: phishing, fake domain attacks, Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, and Denial of Service (DoS).

While not all the people who contribute to journalism are fulltime journalists, the research takes an inclusive approach that is relevant to any actor who is in danger of being targeted for doing journalism. Indeed, many points made are also of direct relevance to human rights defenders in general, to people who are sources for journalists, and even to actors who simply make use of digital communications for personal use.

In examining cases worldwide, this publication serves as a resource for a range of actors.  In a nutshell, it surveys the evolving threats, and assesses preventive, protective and pre-emptive measures. It shows that digital security for journalism encompasses, but also goes beyond, the technical dimension. This publication also gives an overview of actors and initiatives working to address digital safety, as well as identifying gaps in knowledge that call for awareness-raising. Recommendations are made for governments, journalism contributors and sources, news organizations, trainers, corporations and international organisations.

These insights are valuable for policymakers, civil society organisations, media companies, and a range of journalistic actors, offering them enhanced understanding about new challenges to journalism safety. 

The research was enabled under a contribution by the Kingdom of Denmark. The publication will be launched and presented at a number of international events including the forthcoming UNESCO IPDC meeting in Paris, 27 March 2015,  World Press Freedom Day Celebration Event in Riga, 3 May 2015  and 10th Internet Governance Forum in Brazil, 10-13 November 2015.

Other publications in the Internet Freedom series:

Young reporters and producers celebrate World Radio Day 2015 in Kenya

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 10:28

The celebrations brought together 55 participants working in community radios, university radio stations, youth organizations, media organizations, and the United Nations staff.  The 2-day event aimed at increasing the level of participation of young people in radio taking into account media ethics as producers of radio contents with media literacy skills and mobilizing and encouraging main stream media and community radios to promote access to information, freedom of expression and youth empowerment through their programs.

During the opening of the celebrations, Nasser Ega-Musa, Director of United Nations Information Centre said that “I am delighted that this year’s World Radio Day 2015 celebrations focuses on youth and media. It’s important to note that the youth are critical constituent in our society and therefore we should never ignore them. It’s my sincere belief that this year’s celebrations will amplify youth voices and increase their level of participation in radio and other forms of media in Kenya and the world.”

At the training on 12 February Victor Bwire, Deputy Director for Media Council of Kenya took participants through the code of ethics for journalism practice in Kenya, principles of ethical journalism and media literacy skills.  Anthony Arusi, a Producer and Reporter at Mwanedu FM in Voi County said that “I would like to sincerely thank UNESCO for inviting me to attend the world radio day celebrations and also for offering me training on code of ethic and media literacy. I believe the knowledge that I have gained from the training on code of ethics and media literacy will greatly assist me to ethically generate and package content for broadcast at our radio station. ” 

At the official celebrations youth participants presented their 5-7 minutes pre-recorded radio programmes from their stations on issues affecting young people in their geographical areas of coverage. The programmes included themes such as: Stigmatization – The Dilemma faced by young mothers in Kenya; Youth and Drugs; Youth empowerment; Youth and Democracy and Clutches of extremism among others. The programmes were produced in English and Swahili.

A plenary discussion was held after the presentations where participants engaged with a panel comprising of representatives from UNESCO, Media Council of Kenya, UN Information Centre for Kenya and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO - on issues relating to youth perspectives of media in Kenya.  Salome Ayugi, a fourth year journalism student at Maseno University said that “I am happy to have been invited to the World Radio Day 2015 celebrations. It provided me with an opportunity to share my experience and challenges of working as a producer and reporter at my university’s radio station in Kisumu County.”

Nyondo Nyae Kengo, a Producer and Reporter at Kwale Ranet FM stated “I wish to thank UNESCO for inviting me to attend the training workshop on code of ethics and media literacy; and, the World Radio Day celebrations. It’s now my duty as a journalist to go apply the knowledge that I have gained at my radio station in Kwale County“.

The World Radio Day 2015 celebrations focused on young women and men with a call for greater social inclusion of the generation under 30 years old, which accounts for more than half of the world’s population, and underlines the power of radio to contribute to this objective. It advocated for inclusion of young people in conceiving and producing radio programmes; production of radio programmes; and, production of programmes by and for young people.  This activity was organised as part of UNESCO’s on-going SIDA funded project titled: “Empowering local Radios with ICTs” in Kenya.

The preservation of invaluable documentary heritage in Tanzania supported by UNESCO and the European Union

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 11:19

Thus, for instance, the audio visual records at the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation are an important testimony to the rich heritage that requires continuous attention for its effective preservation. All these and other similar records would perish if consolidated efforts to preserve them were not undertaken.

That is why UNESCO and the European Union are teaming up through the 10th European Development Fund support for culture in order to collect, document, preserve and commemorate the mosaic of Africa's irreplaceable documentary heritage accumulated in Tanzania during the period of the independence movements.

Through this support, and with the additional resources secured for a total amount of near one million euros, training on the digitization of photographic and audio records have been delivered to archivists and information professionals from the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the National Museum of Tanzania, Tanzania National Records and Archives and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation. Also, interviews of the remaining witnesses of the liberation movements are underway, and the refurbishment of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation's rich audio-visual archives is in progress as well. At the same time, the General Survey of tangible Tanzania’s Heritage Archives Collections is ongoing and will be recorded and distributed through an electronic database that is currently being developed.

When asked about the involvement of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation in this major initiative, Mr Gallus Abeid, representing the Foundation, is very positive about the work undertaken on the preservation of the heritage archives: "We really hope all these efforts will end up with a recognition by registration of these sets of archives in the Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO".

Dr Boyan Radoykov, Chief of the Universal Access and Preservation Section in UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division underscores: “People and societies must realize that documentary heritage in all its forms, and especially the one of outstanding and universal value, is constantly under attack and threat of destruction, and that consenting to its disappearance would be the biggest failure of our times. For many years, UNESCO, together with its members and partners is striving to raise the awareness of national authorities and other relevant stakeholders about the necessity to improve the conditions for the preservation of, and the increased access to the common heritage of humanity. The project in Tanzania is the perfect illustration of these institutional efforts.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.