Expert panels accompanied the launch of the e-publication “Media and Gender: A Scholarly Agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender”, and the regional launch of the World Trends on Freedom of Expression and Media Development.
Speakers included the researchers Carolyn Byerly, Ammu Joseph, Aimée Vega Montiel, Claudia Padovani, Daya Thussu, Herman Wasserman and Julie Reid, amongst others.
An additional special event was devoted to IAMCR’s contribution to the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Media and Gender.
Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, also led a session encouraging participation by the academic community in the Internet-issues study. A panel of experts provided initial comments to specific questions in the list of 30 questions which the study seeks to answer.
They included reknown researchers such as Robin Mansell, Carlos Affonsa de Souza, Sunil Abrahim, Stefania Milan and Anita Gurumurthy.
Berger also contributed to another session on the ecology of Internet governance, explaining UNESCO’s draft concept of Internet Universality which has informed the Internet-issues study.
IAMCR has consultative status with UNESCO.
For the third time, MILID Week will be uniting diverse actors committed to promoting media and information literacy (MIL) as a way to foster social inclusion and inter-cultural dialogue. Stakeholders, international organizations, universities, associations, research groups and teachers from all around the world will attend to give momentum to the dialogue at a global level.
MILID Week offers opportunities to draw worldwide attention to how MIL helps empower citizens. It seeks to foster synergies among experts, academics, and other civil society actors and practitioners of MIL by encouraging them to work together. MILID Week is a platform for cooperation, debates and exchanges of experiences.
Stakeholders of MILID Week are interested in the fundamental link between Media and Information literacy (MIL) and Intercultural Dialogue. In an age of constantly changing technologies and evolving information and media, enhancing access to media and information literacy has never been more relevant to social policies. These competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) contribute to social inclusion and cohesion, and mutual understanding which are essentials for peace and good governance and democracy.
The MILID University Network and MILID Week are part of a large global movement, the Global Alliance for Partnerships in MIL (GAPMIL). GAPMIL was designed to push for MIL for all, to raise global awareness and to jointly develop and implement concrete MIL initiatives in line with its Framework and Plan of Action. Follow the link to read more and to join GAPMIL.
We can all learn from our diverse experiences and together, we can initiate change. That is why UNESCO encourages all of those who will not be able to attend the conference to put into action the 10 ways to celebrate MILID Week at the local and regional level.
MILID Week lies within the framework of the UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Programme Literacy that brings together eight member universities and over a dozen associate universities. The MILID University Network includes partners such as the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), University of the West Indies (Jamaica), Cairo University (Egypt), University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Temple University (USA), Beijing Tsinghua University (China), Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Morocco) and Queensland University of Technology (Australia).
This working meeting will review the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity from 2013 to 2014 including the successes, challenges, lessons learnt and the way forward. The UN Plan of Action was spearheaded by UNESCO and subsequently adopted by the UN Chief Executives Board on 12 April 2012. It marks the first effort to systematically bring the UN family of agencies together with other relevant stakeholders to address the worsening situation of the safety of journalists, media workers, and social media producers, and of the culture of impunity surrounding the crimes against them.
The UN Plan of Action has been highlighted in various international instruments and guidelines including the UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/68/163), the Human Rights Council Resolution (A/RES/HRC/21/12), and the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline as an important tool in addressing the safety of journalists and combating impunity.
Underlining the multi-stakeholder approach of the UN Plan of Action, representatives from different UN Agencies, Member States, international and regional organizations, academia, and media practitioners themselves will be participating at the meeting. The breadth and depth of the issues on the safety of journalists require a broad coalition of different stakeholders. Their collective proficiency and resources provide a thorough and broad perspective which is necessary in achieving the overall objective.
The first UN-Inter-Agency Meeting took place in September 2011 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris where the plan was first drafted. A second UN Inter-Agency meeting took place in Vienna in November 2012 where a comprehensive Implementation Strategy was adopted. The strategy included over 120 concrete actions that could be taken on the protection of journalists and its related issues. The Implementation Strategy will serve as the basis for the review process.
Additionally, on 3 November 2014 a ‘Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue on the Protection of Journalists’ will be co-organized by UNESCO, Council of Europe, Centre for Freedom of the Media and the European Lawyer’s Union. Representatives from civil society to intergovernmental organisations will examine the current legal standards of protection for journalists and discuss the course of action to improve the international framework for their safety and to eradicate impunity.
For more information regarding the 3rd UN-Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, please contact Mr Ming Kuok LIM (mk.lim(at)unesco.org) with copy to Mr Gerwin DE ROY (g.de-roy(at)unesco.org).
The Association of Mongolian Journalists called attention to gender issues in the Mongolian media by sharing a recently concluded survey that indicates 65 per cent of media employees are women and over 80 per cent of journalism students are women. Mr.B.Galaarid, President of the AMJ, introduced the aims, targets and application of the UNESCO GSIM and pointed the importance of gender issues in the Mongolian media. Gender-sensitive reporting is not just about the percentage of female reporters.
Mongolia has a Gender Equality Policy and is implementing a mid-term strategy that runs through to the year 2016. This was introduced at the meeting by Ms. M. Bolormaa, Secretary-General of the National Committee on Gender Equality. “The recently-established pilot Media Council, which is seeking to introduce media self-regulation in Mongolia, could also work to increase gender sensitivity of media organizations,” she suggested making particular reference to gender equality at decision-making levels, building capacity of journalists as well as newspaper, television and website associations.
Ms. M. Bolormaa also noted that “Media is a powerful tool… all your words are being transmitted directly to the people…so you have to be highly responsible. As I observed, in our society the journalists run after sensational news and cover issues from their own perspective. So the journalists have to start changes within themselves.”
Globe International Centre (GIC) President, Ms. Naranjargal, explained how UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media could be tailored to the context of the Mongolian media sector. “Gender equality brings harmony to society; it is the issue of integration of the voices of women and men for sustainable development,” she said.
Having carefully reviewed the five categories of UNESCO’s indicators, participants identified modalities for their adaptation to the Mongolian media context. They concluded with recommendations for the development of a pilot strategy that would allow the media sector to effectively use the indicators. There was positive feedback indicating that pilot activities would elevate media reputation and credibility and facilitate the introduction of new standards of practice in policy and management. The National Committee on Gender and Equality and civil society organizations are expected to take on leadership roles the design of the pilot strategy.
The consultative meeting was organized by the Mongolian Globe International Center (GIC) in cooperation with the National Committee on Gender Equality (NCGE) and the Association of Mongolian Journalists (AMJ). The project received some support from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Model Policy for Inclusive ICTs in Education of Persons with Disabilities is available nowadays for national adaptation
The purpose of the Model Policy is to serve as resource document for developing the contents of new national policy documents, existing policy documents, or individual sections or annexes as resources for auditing or implementing existing policies. Building on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), specifically Articles: 9 Accessibility; Article 21: Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Access to Information; Article 24 Education, the document provides the rationale and practical steps for:
- Integration of inclusive ICTs in education for inclusion of persons with disabilities,
- Identification of key requirements for national legislation,
- Establishment of concrete policy objectives and actions,
- Development of a national implementation strategy, and
- Setting up a coherent and effective financial mechanism.
The document also includes templates for benchmarking and monitoring the completion of the policy actions, a list of key questions proposed for the elaboration of policy agenda, and a technical glossary.
The Model Policy for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education is now available in English in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license and will be available shortly also in French.
The study should be high quality research of relevance to UNESCO and its member states as well as to media and academic community and public at large. The contractor selected shall analyze the scope of hate speech online related issues as well as capture the most successful best practices of combating hate speech online. These practices should reflect the diversity of techniques combating variety of forms and methods of hate speech. The study will be published under Creative Commons licence and made available in pdf and epub formats.
Issues to be addressed by the research study:
- Which international, regional and national frameworks, normative guidelines and accountability mechanisms define hate speech in general and hate speech online in particular?
- In which way internet adds to complexity in regulating hate speech online at the national, regional & international levels;
- How does combating hate speech online impacts enabling environment of freedom of expression; how to balance the two;
- What are the most proliferating forms and methods of hate speech online and which are the methodologies to identify and counter them?
- Do journalists and media have to be held responsible for user generated content in the context of combating hate speech?
- How hate speech online could be combated through non legal (non-regulatory) mechanisms? Provide with the best practices aimed to combat hate speech online.
The research process requires:
- A mapping of contributors and issues so as to ensure a global representation and comprehensiveness of issues related to hate speech online is covered;
- Development of specific research questions for these, piloting and then implementation;
- Collection of data, aggregation into a global report;
- Selection of best practices in combating online hate speech;
- Qualitative analysis of the findings and recommendations.
The envisioned output of the research (including number of pages):
- Executive Summary - 1
- Introduction - 2
- Overview - 10
- Methodology - 2
- Research issues & Best practices - 15
- Qualitative findings - 10
- Recommendations - 15
- Bibliography & Appendices - 10
- Total number of pages: 65
To elaborate on the scope of the study UNESCO will provide the selected contractor with an extensive concept note.
Memory of the World Annual Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean: UNESCO calls for nominations
Since 2002, the Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean has accepted 95 regional inscriptions which include collections from various subjects including politics, philosophy, literature and music, embodied in text, graphic and audiovisual format. The Latin American and Caribbean list also addresses human rights, indigenous themes and slavery issues.
All interested public and private institutions (libraries, archives, museums etc.), international associations, private companies and, individuals can be part of its history by sending their proposals for inscription on the Register. Applications should be sent by August 29, 2014 the latest, to the Committee’s President: Sergio Lopez Ruels, President - MOWLAC (sergiolr(at)redudg.udg.mx) with copies to Rita Semie Hardjomohamad Tjien Fooh, 1st Vice-President – MOWLAC (ritatjien(at)yahoo.com) and Carlos Henriquez Consalvi, 2nd Vice-President - MOWLAC (chenriquezconsalvi(at)mac.com).
Documentary heritage traces the evolution of thought, discoveries and achievements of human society. It is the legacy of the past to the present and future global community. A vast amount of the world’s documentary heritage is currently dispersed due to accidental or deliberate displacement of documents and collections, wars and other historical realities. Taking all of this into account it is necessary to plan and subsequently take the relevant actions and policy measures. Thus, the participants in the meeting will also discuss the first-ever draft Recommendation on preserving and accessing the documentary heritage, that is to be adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015.
The meeting is being organized by UNESCO and MOWLAC in cooperation with Gobierno de Puebla. According to Nuria Sanz, UNESCO Mexico Office´s Director, documental heritage is “a social resource and a permanent source of knowledge. The international academic community of experts in LAC should be institutionally supported in its endeavor.”, therefore hosting this meeting in Puebla is so relevant.
It is also important to highlight that the activities will take place at the Palafoxiana Library, which is of quite special significance for MOWLAC. The historic and cultural values of this building are remarkable. The Palafoxiana Library was the first public library to be opened in the Latin Amercian & Caribbean continent and nowadays is considered of one of the largest collections of human knowledge.
UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme 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 is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of and access to documentary material.
Entitled “Public expenditure on education in Latin America: Can it serve the purpose of the Paris OER Declaration”, the paper was originally written in Spanish by Amalia Toledo Hernández in collaboration with Carolina Botero and Luisa Guzmán. It seeks to identify and analyze the investment and expenditure policies reported by five Latin American governments for developing and procuring school textbooks, as well as digital content for primary and secondary school.
Education is the pillar that underlies countries’ social and economic development. It is a right recognized by the major international human rights instruments, as well as by the national constitutions and laws of the five countries analyzed in this report: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Although these countries have taken positive steps towards meeting their international obligations, they still have to make efforts in order to fully meet all international standards, goals and expectations related to Open Educational Resources (OER).
Unfortunately, in many Latin American countries digital technology is not a coherent part of education systems. Despite efforts to promote the educational use of information technology in the region, emphasis has been placed on issues related to enrollment. For this reason, the effective use of technologies for education requires further development to benefit educational delivery to its full potential.
During the last decade, there has been a rapid advancement in technologies that make it extremely easy for people to create and share materials. However, the need to ensure the appropriate respect of existing copyright laws has remained a challenge. The development of open licensing and Open Educational Resources (OER) helps address this gap by changing and questioning the current paradigm. The Paris OER Declaration, adopted at the UNESCO World OER Congress in 2012, defines OER as any educational resources, teaching, learning or research material that is in the public domain or published with an open license that allows it to be used, adapted and distributed free of charge. The Paris OER Declaration also encourages the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
This policy paper aims to offer concrete inputs for a public debate towards intelligible and comprehensive inclusion of OER in educational systems of Latin American countries.
The meeting in Kigali included a discussion on the development of openly licensed teacher training materials to be available as open educational resources (OER), in order to support effective teacher training for integration of ICT in classrooms in Rwanda.
In line with the ICT in Education Policy Paper, it is foreseen that the outcomes of this workshop would support the development of an OER-based curriculum for in-service training to ensure that capacity building courses are tailored to local needs to use ICT for quality teaching and learning.
The objectives of the new curriculum will be the following:
- aligning the ICT CFT to support the Rwanda ICT in Education Policy;
- defining the objectives of teacher training materials to support the use of the ICT CFT; and
- outlining the process for the development of OER to support training materials.
Participants in the meeting included representatives of the Rwanda Education Board, the University of Rwanda teacher training institutions, as well as the British Council, and non-governmental organizations. Participants noted the importance of the workshop, especially in order to use the ICT Competency Framework for developing teacher training programmes that are in line with national policies and strategies.
This activity is a direct follow-up to the implementation of the Paris OER Declaration that was adopted in June 2012 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. It is also part of UNESCO’s continued efforts of promoting the application of ICT to enhance the quality of and access to education, including the stimulation of production, sharing and access to open educational resources (OER).
The findings, on topics which relate to UNESCO’s mandate, will feed into a comprehensive Internet-related study mandated by UNESCO’s 195 Member States through Resolution 52 of the Organization’s 37th General Conference Resolution in November 2013. The questions and design of the study have been elaborated through a five-month multi-stakeholder consultation process with civil society, academia, the private sector, the technical community, inter-governmental organizations and UNESCO’s Member States. In addition to written submissions from a range of stakeholders, consultation events were held in a dozen global fora, including the World Press Freedom Day International Conference, the Stockholm Internet Freedom Forum, the Freedom Online Coalition Meeting, and the WSIS+10 High Level Review Event.
“Now we will ask several hundred stakeholders from around the world for inputs to the comprehensive study,” said Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Getachew Engida. “We also invite submissions from anyone with contributions to make.”
Contributions can be submitted through an open online questionnaire or made at the many conferences where UNESCO organizes consultation events. Such events include the upcoming 9th Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, the International Association for Media and Communication Research in Hyderabad and the Global Internet Governance for Academia Network GigaNet conference. The updated concept note, fact sheet and list of questions, and more information are available at www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy.
The framework for the study, proposed by UNESCO’s Secretariat, is informed by its concept of “Internet Universality”, which summarizes UNESCO’s positions on the Internet and highlights four R-O-A-M principles: (i) that the Internet should be human Rights-based (ii) “Open”, (iii) “Accessible to all”, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder participation.
Quick link to the online questionnaire: http://unesco-ci.org/cmscore/content/questions-unescos-comprehensive-study-internet-related-issues
More information: www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy
Comments and questions to Internetstudy(at)unesco.org
Twitter hashtag: #netstudy
UNESCO launches the second series of training workshops for security forces in Tunisia on freedom of expression and safety of journalists
Forty-five security forces members were trained on human rights, freedom of expression principles and safety of journalism during three workshops held in Tunis between May and June 2014. Moreover, a training of trainers (ToT) workshop was carried out for twelve security forces officers in order for these officers to have the skills to train their colleagues.
The series of workshops also included the participation of four journalists, in order to allow for dialogue between journalists and the members of the security forces on freedom of expression and safety of journalists questions. “We need to defuse the existing tension between security forces and journalists in Tunisia,” said a participant of the workshop.
Finally, the training workshops provided the possibility to raise awareness among security forces of the role of journalists in a democratic transition. One participant said that “We [police] have a role to play in the democratic process and we have an impact on the daily life of citizens. Thanks to the training, I realized to what extent journalists contribute to stabilizing democratic transition and have an influence on our daily life as well”.
Further workshops on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists will be conducted in the autumn 2014 in the regions outside the capital.
This activity received support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Tunisia.
The training attracted participation of 29 participants comprising of 17 men and 12 women. Among the participants, 15 came from community radio stations – Sauti FM, Mwanedu FM, Mugambo Jwetu FM, Mang’elete FM, Sahara Radio FM and Gulf Radio – and 14 came from humanitarian practitioners – Kenya Red Cross Society, UNICEF Kenya, Kenya Meteorological Service, Concern World Wide, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government - Kenya, Kenya Meteorological Service, Plan International, World Vision, and CARE International Kenya.
The training objectives included; skills development for better engagement in ‘Lifeline programmes’ and better understanding of the role of the media and the humanitarian sectors in the Kenyan Disaster Risk Reduction plan. Lifeline communication training is part of BBC Media Action's humanitarian communication preparedness work that seeks to strengthen the ability of media and aid agencies to meet the communication needs of people affected by crises.
During the training, the trainers used hands-on training, group exercises, role play, practical exercises and interactive sessions, with an emphasis on scenario-based activities to enable participants simulate application of the principles in real crisis situations. This was aimed at enabling participants to adapt and apply the principles in developing lifeline communication programmes.
Mr. Fredrick Mariwa, Radio Manager of Sauti FM Station Manager stated that “The training was insightful and practical and it came at the right time when there are indications that there might be possible humanitarian crises to be caused by drought and flooding’s in the country. I am glad I participated in the training and the knowledge that I have acquired will help me to properly produce programmes and report on humanitarian crisis and their effects to Sauti FMs audiences in Siaya County.”
Ms. Sophie Sangalia Mshila, a reporter at Mwanedu FM stated that “This training was very important to me as a reporter since it has enabled me acquire the right knowledge and skills to produce and report objectively about and during humanitarian disasters/crisis. I am now capable of sourcing for the right factual information, package it, and report it through the radio to the local community."
Another participant, Mr. George Mwamodo, Mwanedu FM Station Manager states that “This training was very well thought training, informative, educative and fun. There’s need to have more trainings on Lifeline Communications for reporters and editors and this should incorporate field work at their various stations.”
In order to reinforce learning at the training, reporters were trained to produce local content of interest to communities and in the process save lives, reduce human suffering, strengthen relief efforts and empower communities to help themselves during and after humanitarian disasters. Reporters produced disaster scenarios in response to ‘potential floods’, followed by preparation of a 10 minutes magazine program and a series of lifeline bulletins to provide their respective communities with practical and useful information to use during humanitarian crises.
This training is part of UNESCOs on-going capacity building initiatives under SIDA funded project “Empowering Community Radios with ICTs” in Kenya.
UN to discuss UNESCO report on press freedom, role of free media in the post-2015 development agenda
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and H.E. Mr Mårten Grunditz, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations will open the session.
Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University in the City of New York and a noted First Amendment scholar, will present a keynote address. Bollinger recently established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Information Project, an initiative joining international experts and activists with the university’s faculty and students.
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development offers a new look at recent evolutions in media freedom, independence, pluralism and safety. These areas are explored at the international level and with respect to gender and global media.
The report was launched in March 2014 in Stockholm by UNESCO’s Director General. Six regional overviews were released in May 2014 as an online companion to the global report.
The publication comes at a critical moment for press freedom amid unprecedented opportunities for expression of new voices as well as new forms of restriction, surveillance and control.
The launch and conference at the UN is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Wednesday in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.
The event will be streamed live at http://webtv.un.org/ and tweeted with the hashtags #mediatrends and #pressfreedom.
Following the opening addresses, a panel discussion will be moderated by Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists Joel Simon with the participation of:
- Karin Karlekar, Project director of Freedom of the Press, Freedom House
- Veni Markovski, Vice President - Global Stakeholder Engagement, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
- Raza Rumi, public policy specialist and noted writer and editor of several Pakistan media
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development was produced with support from the Government of Sweden.
In order to address and include persons with disabilities in new and on-going development efforts, it is necessary to identify the current challenges in this area, including better understanding of the numbers of individuals living with a disability and their specific needs. The expert group will also discuss how new and open technological solutions could improve the depth and accuracy of big data collection, specifically with respect to persons with disabilities, and how to engage different stakeholders in efforts towards sustainable development post-2015.
The expected outcome of this collective discussion and analysis is the formulation of a policy brief that will provide an informed overview of the current status of disability statistics and formulate recommendations to improve data collection so as to encourage the implementation of evidence-based policy-making. Additionally, the meeting will contribute towards the implementation of the outcome document of the General Assembly High Level Meeting on Disability and Development held on 23 September 2013, which underscored the need for accurate data on disability.
This expert group meeting entitled “Disability Data and Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation: The Way Forward in the Disability-Inclusive Development Agenda Towards 2015” is co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Division for Social Policy and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
The duration of the contract is from September 2014 to March 2015.
For more information on World Radio Day, kindly visit:
If you are interested in this assignment, please send a written proposal in line with the Terms of Reference, in English or French, to campaigncoordinator(at)unesco.org on or before 3 August 2014 at 12 a.m. Paris time.
The main goal of the collective consultation of experts was to put on solid ground the process of drafting of this first-ever normative instrument that is to be adopted at the next session of the General Conference in November 2015.
At the opening session the participants were greeted by Ms Małgorzata Omilanowska, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Mr Sławomir Ratajski, Secretary General of the Polish National Commission for UNESCO and Mr Władysław Stępniak, Director of the Head Office of the State Archives. In her statement the Minister reaffirmed the support of her Government to UNESCO’s efforts to preserve effectively the documentary heritage of the world and pointed out how the historical events made Poland fully understand the need to better protect and promote its archives and records and to support specific programmes of digitization, preservation of and accessibility to its rich cultural and documentary heritage.
On behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Boyan Radoykov, Chief of Section in the Knowledge Societies Division, expressed UNESCO’s deep appreciation of the ardent and long-standing commitment of the Government of Poland to the activities of the Organization in a very important area of its mandate, namely the preservation of and accessibility to documentary heritage. He also emphasized the particular connotation of this meeting with its sense of historical significance when something new of great universal importance is being initiated.
The meeting was attended by 39 experts from all around the world, participating in their personal capacity. The discussions took place in a dynamic, well-structured and engaging atmosphere that enabled a better understanding of the issues and challenges at stake. The meeting concluded successfully its work with the formulation of concrete suggestions about the main pillars of the future standard-setting instrument as well as with specific recommendations under each of the pillars. The overarching emphasis of the experts recommendations is that the world's documentary heritage is a common one and that it should be fully preserved and protected, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, and should be accessible for all without hindrance.
The preliminary report by the Director-General, together with the first draft of the Recommendation will be sent officially to all UNESCO Member States in September 2014 for their comments and observations on that report.
The exercise started with a training workshop on media statistics in Nay Pyi Taw, led by UNESCO´s Institute of Statistics (UIS) and targeting the staff of the Ministry of information, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology as well as private media organisations (22-23 May). It was then followed by a two-day Media Development Indicator-based (MDI) training workshop in Yangon from 28 to 29 May 2014 addressed to the project’s core research team from the Journalism Department at NMC, IMS and UNESCO representatives. The workshop was conducted by media development expert, Steve Buckley, and it provided the 13 participants with an introduction to the extensive list of media indicators. The participants were also trained on the various tools and resources available to them.
Myanmar has seen substantial media reforms in recent years, and many more are in the way, especially in areas such as media legislation, media ownership systems and media diversity.
Establishing a Consultative Committee to guide the process
To ensure national ownership of the assessment and its recommendations, a Consultative Committee consisting of representatives from across the media sector was formed to advise the team on the research process and recommendations.
The Committee met for the first time on 30 May 2014 in Yangon. The meeting was attended by 11 members representing nine organizations spanning the government, civil society, media and educational sectors.
During the meeting, the Committee provided the research team with valuable insight on the implementation of the MDI indicators and gave its suggestions on maximizing the impact of the report’s recommendations.
Committee members urged the researchers “not to simply take the findings they gathered at face-value, but to delve deeper to ensure that their findings reflected the reality on the ground”. They also called for the research to be “broad-based and inclusive, in order to ensure that the findings would be sufficiently representative and allow for meaningful and relevant recommendations to be made”.
With the knowledge gained from the MDI training workshop, the research team will now formulate a comprehensive research plan – in close liaison with the Consultative Committee – and start the groundwork needed. Preliminary findings will be reported to the Third Media Development Conference to be organized in Yangon in September this year. The final report is expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2015.
The project involves equipping journalists and media professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves when working, and establishing a strong network for monitoring and peer assistance. It is expected that it will contribute to fostering a safer working environment for journalists and media professionals, increasing freedom of expression and, ultimately, strengthening peace and democracy in Viet Nam.
RED will organize a two-day training workshop in the third quarter of 2014 to strengthen the capacities of 25 media professionals and media management officials. Participants will learn about media laws and regulations, particularly in the area of journalists’ safety, and acquire skills for peer assistance in this area. A set of Guidelines for Peer Assistance for Safety of Journalists will also be developed, in collaboration with senior journalists.
RED will establish by October 2014 a Monitoring Network and an online interactive forum on its website. This will be a platform where best safety-related practices and protection mechanisms will be shared among journalists and media professionals in Viet Nam.
The project is part of the follow-up to the Global Forum on Media and Gender that was convened by UNESCO and partners in 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In Thailand and in the Asia-Pacific region, women in the media are still significantly underrepresented at decision-making levels, in senior management positions, and in the newsgathering and news dissemination processes. In addition, gender-based stereotypes are pervasive in commercial advertising and the entertainment industry, often reinforcing gender prejudices and the misrepresentation of women
This project is focused on the application of UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM). The GSIM are a tool which media organizations can use to assess their gender sensitivity, formulate necessary strategies and policies, set measurable goals and monitor progress towards the achievement of gender equality in and through the media. A GSIM manual tailored to Thai PBS will be produced in early 2015 based on the findings from this exercise.
Within the framework of this project, a series of training workshops will take place in Bangkok in October and November 2014. These comprise a one-day seminar in Bangkok with 10 media executives at Thai PBS with a focus on gender balance at decision-making levels; and a two-day training workshop with 20 Thai PBS journalists and media content producers, with a focus on fair gender portrayal in news, current affairs and advertising.
BMI is an association of 11 independent news organizations operating in regions where conflict and the peace process are ongoing. The new media platform will serve as a site both for sharing and exchanging ethnic-based news coverage about the peace process, and for preserving ethnic languages and cultures by educating the public on the history and culture of the different ethnic communities in Myanmar.
A one-day orientation session and two five-day workshops will be organized with 15 ethnic media groups to establish the online-media management team and to develop editorial policies and procedures for running the platform. Ethnic communities will be encouraged to upload and exchange news and information in print and broadcast formats, and share their views and opinions on the peace process.
Cooperation and networking among media practitioners, bloggers and citizens of different ethnic backgrounds is seen as critical to foster greater cultural understanding, tolerance and building a deep-rooted peace process. National and international media are being encouraged to access the published content and disseminate the stories produced by ethnic media groups. The project is expected to conclude in early 2015.
Strong and independent ethnic media are vital to Myanmar’s transition towards democracy. Many ethnic minority media groups have been abroad since their establishment due to long-standing media restrictions imposed previously. However, with the ongoing media reforms, Myanmar ethnic media groups have been allowed greater freedom to operate inside the country and are gaining more acceptance by the government and mainstream media.
The largest ethnic media community in Myanmar cooperates through Burma News International (BNI). Despite the ethnic and cultural diversity of the new organizations which form the network, they all share a common vision – to provide a platform for their communities to be part of and engage with the political changes ongoing in Myanmar.