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Five new Jury members for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2015

News - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 15:09

Ms Cilla Benkö (Sweden) is the Director-General of the Swedish Radio. She has been working for the Swedish Radio for more than 20 years.

Mr Clovis Rossi (Brazil) is the Editor of Folha de Sao Paulo and has nearly 50 years of experience as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. In 2011, Rossi started the blog Something more than samba, to the electronic edition of El País. He has written several books on journalism and has received a number of prizes.

Ms Chadia Khedir (Tunisia) is the Director of public television channel Watania2. As a journalist and reporter, she produced youth programmes. Previously she has been a journalist and reporter at the National Tunisian Television and a teacher at the High institute of Press and information.

Ms Maria Moukrim (Morocco) has 15 years of experience in the field of journalism. She is journalist and co-founder of the Arabic-language weekly Assahifa, the first independent paper in Morocco (1998-2000) and chief editor of the weekly Moroccan Arabic Al Ayam based in Casablanca (2000-2012). Moukrim is also the President of the Moroccan Association of Investigative Journalism (AMJI).

Mr Jacques Pauw (South Africa) is the Executive Producer of Special Assignment, a current affairs program at SABC. He was a founding member and assistant editor of Vrye Weekblad, the first Afrikaans language anti-apartheid newspaper that became one of the most persecuted and prosecuted newspapers in South African history.

The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board, in 1997, in honour of Guillermo Cano, a Colombian journalist who died in the exercise of his profession. Its purpose is to reward each year a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if risks have been involved.

Awarded annually, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (3 May), the Prize is marked by a ceremony and the winner is presented with the sum of US$25,000. In 2015 the Prize will be handed over in Riga (Latvia) where World Press Freedom Day’s celebrations will take place under the issue of Independent Media in the Digital Age: Quality Journalism, Gender Equality, and Privacy.

The Prize is funded by the Cano Foundation (Colombia) and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Finland).

Media development assessment kicks off in Morocco

News - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:24

To conduct the assessment, UNESCO has set up an independent research team comprising of Ms Dima Dabbous, the lead international researcher, and Mr Ahmed Hidass, Mr Driss Ksikes and Mr Bouziane Zaid as the national expert team.

Through a comprehensive study of the media landscape in Morocco, the project aims at presenting key findings and recommendations with a view to defining an environment conducive to freedom of expression, media independence and pluralism.

It is in such a context that the media can best contribute towards, and benefit from, good governance and democratic development.
At the launch of the project, the research team underlined the relevance of using the MDIs in Morocco.

Ms Dima Dabbous, the lead expert, stated: “In comparison to other methodologies used for evaluating press freedom, UNESCO's indicators provide a comprehensive framework. This allows us not only to analyze texts of laws and regulations but also to promote their translation into reality as this is where there are gaps in most of the Arab countries.”

During the discussions, civil society groups expressed their appreciation of the inclusiveness of the process and their involvement in the Advisory Committee. They expressed the hope that the UNESCO report would document some legal cases concerning freedom of expression, the constraints encountered in practice, and the degree of transparency of media ownership and concentration in Morocco.

They also underlined the need for instruments to implement the recommendations that will come out of the report.

Ms Meriem Khatouri, Director of Studies on Media Development at the Ministry of Communication, expressed her commitment to facilitating access to all relevant Government reports and studies on media.

The MDIs are a tool for constructive dialogue and diagnosis that are intended to assist policy-makers and other stakeholders in their range of decisions on the development of media in the country.

Through a series of focus groups and consultations, the assessment process will also help to raise relevant stakeholders’ awareness of international standards of media development.

The key findings of the Moroccan report and its recommendations will be presented in October 2015.

The UNESCO MDIs were endorsed by its Member States within the framework of the International Programme for the Development of Communication. MDI-based assessments have been carried out or are ongoing in 32 countries around the world.

In the Arab States, Morocco is the fourth country to take advantage of the MDIs, after Tunisia, Egypt and Palestine.

This project in Morocco has been made possible thanks to the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Latin American and Caribbean nominations inscribed on the Memory of the World Regional Register

News - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:10

Ms Nuria Sanz, Director of the UNESCO Office in Mexico, stated, “Our Office will continue cooperating with the Government of the State of Puebla in order to hold, in 2015, within the framework of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, an international meeting to foster the Memory of the World Programme, and advance Latin American cooperation initiatives in this field, the goal being to consolidate the integrated preservation of Latin American Documentary Heritage in the Digital Era.”

On 16 October MOWLAC experts proceeded with the annual selection of entries to be inscribed on the Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean. As a result, 12 applications from 8 countries were selected from a total list of 23 proposals, received from 11 countries. The accepted proposals include, among others, “El cocinero mexicano” (Mexico); “Colección Jesuítica de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Córdoba” (Argentina); “Cabildo colonial sobre la Villa de Medellín” (Colombia); “Documentos fundacionales de la República de Cuba” (Cuba); “The Patents (Land Grants) 1661-1940” (Jamaica);  “Fondo Fradique Lizardo del Folklore Dominicano” (Dominican Republic); “The Ason Gonzalez Collection” (Trinidad and Tobago) and “Colección documental de Jorge Tiscornia Bazzi” (Uruguay).

This MOW Committee meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the initial draft of UNESCO’s Recommendation on the preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in the digital era, which is to be submitted for adoption by member States during the next General Conference of UNESCO, in 2015. The draft text presents measures and policies with respect to the identification, access and preservation of documentary heritage, as well as prospects for national and international cooperation in this area. After the presentation of this important initiative, the representative of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector, Mr Boyan Radoykov, highlighted its great value for the future generations and underlined that “the documentary heritage reflects the existing diversity worldwide of peoples, languages and cultures. It is our major responsibility to safeguard and promote this diversity and thus to ensure the universality – but not the uniformity - of the shared memory of humanity”.

On this occasion were also discussed strategies for the next annual MOWLAC meeting, particularly as concerns capacity building, development of new regional initiatives, the increased visibility of the MOW Programme and the additional efforts for creation of new national MOW committees.

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 is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of, and access to, documentary materials.

Media professionals in Skopje trained to better access information

News - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 16:03

The local version of the Legal Leaks Toolkit, a guide for journalists on how to access public information, was presented and distributed to the participants of the training. The toolkit, written by Access Info Europe and n-ost, has been adapted to legal framework of the FYR Macedonia by the Centre for Civil Communications.

The training took place in Skopje on 16 October 2014. The first session, led by Victoria Anderica, analysed the definition and scope of the right to access information from a national and international perspective. Anderica presented five tips that journalists should take into account when accessing information, particularly the importance of understanding exceptions to the law, being aware of the time frames of the authorities and not being afraid of requesting sensitive information.

During the second session, given by Helen Darbishire, journalists were advised on how to request information from the European Union. Darbishire also informed journalists on ways of requesting information from foreign countries or from the EU when they are not able to obtain information from their home countries.

When explaining the reasons, journalists should use access to information laws, Darbishire mentioned that “access to information can be an investment for your future, the information you request now can turn into a big stories in a few months’ time”.

She added that requesting and reporting is also a way of defending the right: “by putting FOI [freedom of information] stories in the media, journalists are reminding the public and the other journalists the importance of the right of access to information and its link to freedom of expression.”

The final session was conducted by Gavin Sheridan who presented a series of high profile stories written in Ireland using information obtained via FOI requests. He explained how to prepare a request, how to know what information one needs to ask, and how to get to know the system, including how information is stored by public bodies.

“The better you know the bureaucracy, the more precise your requests for information can be, and the better chance you have to get an answer,” commented Sheridan. This session was also an opportunity for the participating journalists to learn about specific existing online programming for analysing data.

The Legal Leaks training took place in the framework of the EU-funded project “Media Accountability in South East Europe”.

L’enseignement du journalisme est plus important que jamais dans le contexte actuel

Actualités - Tue, 21/10/2014 - 10:28

Cette demande a été formulée par Getachew Engida, Directeur général adjoint de l’UNESCO, lorsqu’il a accueilli des formateurs au journalisme français et européens, des professionnels et des étudiants à la 5e édition de la conférence nationale des métiers du journalisme (CNMJ), qui a commencé aujourd’hui au siège de l’UNESCO à Paris.

Il a expliqué aux 233 participants que pour l’UNESCO, les écoles de journalisme avaient une grande responsabilité dans un monde où la liberté d’expression et la sécurité des journalistes sont constamment menacés. À ce propos, la formation au journalisme est un sujet de débat essentiel lors des réunions mondiales préparant l’agenda pour le développement post-2015, dans lequel la liberté d’expression est perçue comme un prérequis pour l’innovation journalistique.

Getachew Engida a ajouté que « C’est dans cet esprit que l’année passée, l’UNESCO a lancé 10 nouveaux modules de spécialisation au journalisme dans les Programmes modèles d’enseignement du journalisme : Recueil de nouveaux manuels »

Il a rappelé aux participants que l’Initiative mondiale pour l’excellence de l’enseignement du journalisme lancée par l’UNESCO pouvait leur servir de référence pour collaborer avec l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour atteindre les objectifs de l’initiative : une excellence mondiale partagée en matière de pratique, d’enseignement et de recherche du journalisme.

M. Engida a également informé l’assemblée que l’UNESCO venait de publier un rapport sur les tendances mondiales en matière de liberté d’expression et de développement des médias. Il a ensuite ajouté que l’Organisation travaillait actuellement sur une étude complète des questions liées à Internet, dont les résultats seraient diffusés au mois de mars. Il a invité les participants à la conférence à contribuer aux débats suscités par les résultats de ces tendances mondiales et de cette étude sur Internet.

Cette conférence a fait intervenir d’autres acteurs médiatiques : Fleur Pellerin (Ministre française de la culture et de la communication), Jean-Marie Charon (président de la CNMJ), Pascal Guénée (Institut pratique du journalisme de Paris-Dauphine), Christina Agren (SVT, télévision suédoise), Marco Garcia Rey (Université de Madrid) et Susan Fearn (BBC Academy).

La CNMJ est un espace de dialogue ouvert et de débat pour les formateurs au journalisme et les professionnels. Mise en place en 2010, elle accueille les représentants de 14 écoles de journalisme françaises reconnues ainsi que des formateurs, des associations professionnelles, des autorités publiques, des chercheurs et d’autres parties prenantes qualifiées.

Cette 5e édition de la conférence est unique car elle permet une plus grande inclusion des formateurs au journalisme européens et aux professionnels. Elle s’illustre donc comme un événement paneuropéen.

UNESCO launches a call for proposals for a documentary film production on freedom of expression in the Arab region

News - Mon, 20/10/2014 - 17:49

This documentary film will aim at communicating to the donors, stakeholders, the media and the wider public on this specific project and will be uploaded on UNESCO Extra-budgetary website. The film will be produced in English and Arabic, in both long and short version (9 films of 2-5 minutes each for the following countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen and South Sudan). Versions provided should be compatible with Internet and TV screening.

Through activities at the international, regional and national level, the project addresses the needs of each country depending on national priorities under the areas of media self-regulation, independence and plurality; ICT policies and universal access to the Internet; the role of women and youth in shaping viable and sustainable democracies, among other major evolving priorities. The actions implemented build upon existing local and regional networks in partnership with other organizations and groups advocating for freedom of expression and media freedom and with all relevant actors, including governments.

Interested production companies or teams of consultants should study in detail the terms of reference provided, then submit the concept notes (technical and financial proposals) indicating the following:

  • how they propose to undertake the assignment,
  • cost in US dollars,
  • 2-page curriculum vitae of all team members,
  • three most recent CDs/DVDs,
  • at least four previous clients and their email and telephone contacts, and
  • statement of capability.

Applications should be sent by 30 October 2014 to the address below:

Ms Maaly Hazzaz
Section for Freedom of Expression
Communication and Information Sector
Office 1.009
7, Place de Fontenoy
75007 Paris

Or by email to: m.hazzaz(at)unesco.org with links included and no attachments.

You can read the complete call for proposals here.

UNESCO session at the International Council on Archives Congress focused on digital documentary heritage

News - Thu, 16/10/2014 - 09:46

The events were grouped under a common title: Archives and Cultural Industries, in order to foster debate on a key issue for archives: the potential for the documentation that has been preserved in them to be a resource provider for the creation and consumption of culture and knowledge among the population.

Archives around the world house a tremendous amount of documentary heritage, such as textual, graphic, photographic and audiovisual documents that represent the collective memory of humanity. The digitization of collections of documents has allowed the creation of multiple cultural resources accessible through the Internet and other communication networks that can be a focal point of interest to consumers and businesses. There is a great potential of this documentation to meet the growing needs of consumers.

The congress participants discussed innovative strategies to be established in both the treatment and organization of documentation and its dissemination and exploitation, in legal ways that respect intellectual property rights, and which ultimately reassess the role of archives in the Knowledge Society.

The Conference discussions focused on these issues from three perspectives:

  • The perspective of content: How should collections of documents be organized, described, digitized and disseminated to facilitate access and enhance their heritage value;
  • The perspective of cultural industries: What aret the new businesses dealing with the creation and distribution of digital content and how can collaboration between the public and private sectors be articulated to advance business creation;
  • The perspective of general population: What are its interests and cultural consumption habits, and what future trends may arise.

The UNESCO-ICA session within the framework of the Congress, focused on the problem of preservation challenges of digital heritage. It is one of the challenging subjects within the PERSIST project (Platform to Enhance the Sustainability of the Information Society Transglobally),  an initiative of UNESCO, ICA, IFLA and other partners, which aims to enhance the sustainability and long-term accessibility of digital heritage. The project assumes that on these issues a high-level global policy discussion is needed between heritage institutions, industry and government, and that UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme is a unique platform that could facilitate this process. The idea for PERSIST was born at the Conference The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitisation and Preservation in Vancouver (September 2012).

The panellists pointed to the threat of obsolescence to digital information as being twofold, since there is a risk of obsolescence to both the hardware and the software. What increases that threat is the speed with which technology is changing. Another danger that threatens digital technology is cost. The preservation of digital material is a continual process, and to the initial cost of digitizing must be added additional costs for migrating data every five or ten years, if not more often. Another concern is the fact that too few professionals are still unaware of the economic burden of digital preservation in the overall management of their library. The need to preserve digital documents is of equal importance, and this essential work is now beginning to be taken seriously by the interested stakeholders.

Discussion focused also on electronic documents as being often considered as two distinct groups: digitized copies of original printed or written documents, and works which have no print original, often called born-digital works. The preservation policies concerning the two groups may be different, especially where the original document which has been digitized is also being preserved. On the other hand, born-digital works may also require special preservation measures as they are unique.

Panellists pointed out to migration of information as one of the preservation measures currently advocated to preserve electronic publications, but it raises technical challenges, together with problems of staff resources and financial implications.

The UNESCO representative, Ms Iskra Panevska from the Memory of the World Programme, stressed that “UNESCO’s interest in safeguarding, preserving and disseminating the world’s cultural and documentary heritage is as fundamental as its constitution with its mandate to contribute to building peace through the spread of knowledge. With regard to digital heritage, she went on to emphasize that “the need to safeguard this relatively new form of documentary heritage calls for international consensus on its collection, preservation and dissemination which resulted first in the adoption of the 2003 UNESCO Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage and the convening of the UNESCO Memory of the World in the Digital Age Vancouver conference in 2012.  More recently, on the request of its Member States, UNESCO has elaborated a draft Recommendation on preservation of, and access to documentary heritage, including in digital form. She added that “due to the ephemeral nature of digital information a continuous and active management for its long term preservation and accessibility is essential, and development of digital preservation best practices, methods, tools, systems, and infrastructural setup including trusted and sustainable digital repositories are required”.

Massive Open Education Opportunities at the National Open University of Nigeria

News - Wed, 15/10/2014 - 15:37

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region. The University at present has 54 Centres spread across the country. It is Nigeria's largest tertiary institution with over 150,000 enrolled students.

The Workshop at NOUN is part of the African component of the Globalizing OpenupEd Project, which aims to empower key national higher education institutions to offer courses with full open licenses (OERs), and to transform them into Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are defined as any type of educational materials in the public domain, or released with an open license allowing free use, adaptation, and distribution. They present educational institutions with a strategic opportunity to increase the quality of educational materials.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are characterized as free-of-cost, openly-accessible, online courses which can support ‘massive’ numbers of students.

By transforming OER courses into MOOCs that can be accessed free-of-cost and easily via mobile phones, NOUN hopes to ‘massively’ increase the number of enrolments from Nigeria, Africa and internationally.

OpenupEd is the world’s first MOOC Initiative that offers learners several unique innovations:

  1. courses are to be made immediately/progressively available as OERs with at least CC BY SA licenses;
  2. the University partners will offer full recognition and additional credit for fees;
  3. some courses are to offer cohort-independence.

The Project is led by Abel Caine, UNESCO Programme Specialist in OERs, and Professor Fred Mulder, UNESCO OER Chair.

With support from the European Commission, UNESCO is globalizing OpenupEd in Africa working with the Africa Council for Distance Education (ACDE), and in Asia working with the Asian Association for Open Universities (AAOU).

The Workshop was facilitated by Dr Robert Schuwer of the Open University of the Netherlands. Using extensive OER and MOOC models, the delegates identified 10 pilot courses to be updated and offered with the Creative Commons Attribution (BY) ShareAlike (SA) license. A new course on the History of NOUN will be the pilot MOOC.

Abel Caine, from UNESCO, was very pleased with the Workshop, “NOUN is one of the very few universities worldwide to freely share their intellectual wealth with a Portal of all their courses. They are now extending this gift with open licenses to allow other universities to freely and legally use the NOUN materials.”

NOUN extended a great honour to the UNESCO Team allowing Mr Caine and Professor Fred Mulder to present the NOUN Senate comprising of over 100 academics on Tuesday 10 September.

The Workshop was extensively promoted by local media including the Nigeria Guardian newspaper and Nigeria TV with many comments on Twitter and shared photos.

The medium-term goal is to launch the Africa OpenupEd Initiative with at least 3 African universities offering fully open-licensed MOOCs by the seminal World Education Forum in Incheon, South Korea, in May 2015.

UNESCO supported networking opportunities for press councils in South East Europe

News - Wed, 15/10/2014 - 11:29

The 16th annual meeting of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils in Europe (AIPCE) took place on 9 and 10 October in Brussels in collaboration with the European Commission. The meeting discussed the future of this network of independent media regulators, which has been facing new challenges related to the growing numbers of its participants.

The participation of South East European Press Councils enabled them to share experiences and best practices with well-established European press councils and to get first-hand information about the know-how of running such bodies.

During the conference, Robert Madelin, Director General of the DG Connect stressed the importance of self-regulation mechanisms for media freedom and the role of press councils to enhance media professional standards at the local level.

In a specific workshop with the representatives from the DG of Enlargement in the European Commission, Liljana Zurovac, Head of the Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke of the common challenges faced by press councils in South East Europe and how these could be addressed through the recently established regional network of cooperation. Andris Kesteris, principal adviser for DG Enlargement presented the Guidelines for the EU support to media freedom and media integrity in enlargement countries 2014-2020 and emphasized that the strategy to support press councils will stay as a top priority for the EU.

The representatives were supported as part the EU-UNESCO project: “Media Accountability in South East Europe” which started in January 2013. This project aims to strengthen press councils in the region, as these have proven to be essential safeguards of media freedom. By ensuring respect for codes of ethics and by dealing with readers and viewers’ complaints, press councils help media professionals to better protect themselves from informal economic and political pressures while winning the confidence of media consumers. 

UNESCO launch infographic contest on the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists

News - Tue, 14/10/2014 - 10:50

The main goals of this contest is to raise awareness of the issues of impunity for crimes against journalists as well as to create visually creative and educational material which can be shared through social media networks.

Journalists and media workers face dangerous challenges every day and pay a heavy toll in the pursuit of their profession: one journalist loses his/her life per week on average. According to the new UNESCO Director-General’s report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, nine out of ten cases of the killing of journalists and media workers remain unsolved.

When the attacks on journalists are not investigated and the perpetrators not brought to justice, a climate of impunity sets in. Over time, the chilling consequence of impunity will have a drastic negative effect on freedom of expression and the health of rule of law in a democratic society. Together with its international partners, UNESCO is at the forefront in promoting safety of journalists and ending impunity as well as condemning every killing of a media professional in the line of duty.

The winner of the infographic contest will receive USD 2000.00 and have his or her winning design featured on UNESCO’s website. Please visit Visual.ly’s webpage for more contest information. Applications are due by Friday 17 October 2014.

Preservation of documentary heritage to be discussed in Mexico this week

News - Mon, 13/10/2014 - 16:53

The three-day event will be complemented with lectures by leading national and international experts on the preservation of documentary heritage in Mexico and the international value of the Palafoxiana Library. A session will also be held to discuss the Programme’s new submissions at regional level.

To proceed with the annual selection of documents, or sets of documents, from archives, libraries, audiovisual collections to be enrolled in the 2014 Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean, MOWLAC members and expert partners will hold a private session in the afternoon of 16 October.

Ms Nuria Sanz, Director of the UNESCO Office in Mexico, said on that occasion, “Documentary heritage is a social resource and a permanent source of knowledge. The international academic community of experts in Latin America should be further supported institutionally in their work."

This year MOWLAC has received a total of 23 nominations from 11 countries in the region, namely from: Barbados, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. Dr Boyan Radoykov, Chief of the Section for Universal Access and Preservation, Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO, underscores that "this is an unprecedented number which confirms the great importance the Latin American and Caribbean region gives to the preservation of, and the access to, its documentary heritage and confirms the great value of the Memory of the World Programme, whose main objectives will also result in the first-ever international normative instrument covering these important issues, which is currently in the process of elaboration by UNESCO".

A new publication, in Spanish, will be launched at the meeting. It is entitled Proteger y promover el Conocimiento Global Registrado (Protect and promote the Registered Global Knowledge).

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 is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of, and access to, documentary materials.

A forum in Skopje next week will focus on media in South East Europe

News - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:21

The event will provide a forum for discussion and exchange of experiences between international and national media practitioners and experts, civil society representatives, academics and representatives of state institutions from Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). Topics will include the right to access information, data journalism, privacy and the protection of journalists’ sources, self-regulation and standards of quality reporting. A session will also be dedicated to opinion making in times of conflict and will discuss the lessons of the media war on Ukraine.

Within this forum, SEEMO will present their prestigious Investigative Journalism Award.

Prior to the Forum, UNESCO, together with the Macedonian Institute for Media, will organize an event to present the new press council in Macedonia, and discuss the perspectives and challenges for this media self-regulation organization, the youngest in the region.

These activities are organized in partnership with a number of international, regional and local partners, including the European Union, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the Central European Initiative, the Macedonian Institute for Media and others.

UNESCO launched Global Survey on Governments’ Actions on Gender and Media

News - Thu, 09/10/2014 - 16:36

UNESCO’s consultation with governments from across the world will take the form of a global survey. The finding of the survey will be summarized in a global report which will serve three main purposes:

  • gather, analyze and distribute empirical data on progress towards achieving Strategic Objective J, relating to media and gender, of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) from the stand point of government actions;
  • raise awareness of the topic among Member States and make recommendations as to how media and ICTs can be integrated into national gender policies and strategies, and
  • contribute to the 20-year review of the BDPfA.

The survey questionnaire draws on key action items as set forth in the BDPfA as well as relevant indicators of the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource published by UNESCO. The questionnaire is divided into seven short sections:

  • Existence of government programmes and budget related to gender and media
  • Policy, legal, regulatory framework and monitoring
  • Employment and career development
  • Education, training and skills building
  • Research
  • Public awareness and dialogue
  • Gender in media content

UNESCO is working closely with National Commissions for UNESCO around the world to coordinate response to the questionnaire which can be viewed on this link.

Governments, civil society actors and media representatives met in Beijing from 4 to 15 September 1995 for the Fourth World Conference on Women. Governments expressed their determination to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity. The conference adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA), which consists of twelve strategic objectives and actions.

One of these objectives is concerned with the increase of women’s participation in media and technology and the elimination of gender related stereotypes in the media. This objective is an intersection of the UNESCO Priority Gender Equality and the Organization’s mandate to promote free, independent and pluralistic media.

There are two seminal global studies in recent times which address gender and media issues. These are the Global Media Monitoring Project and the Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media.  

Many governments have implemented programmes and policies in line with the Women and the Media strategic objective of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. However, there is no comprehensive and collective report in this respect. This global survey undertaken by UNESCO in cooperation with its Member States addresses this research gap.

Research is one aspect of the UNESCO global strategy to promote gender equality in and through the media. Other interventions include: 1) building the capacity of journalists and media organizations based on the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators, 2) policy advocacy through the Woman Make the News initiative, 3) fostering partnerships for systematic follow-up of the gender and media objective of the BDPfA through the pioneering Global Alliance on Media and Gender, 4) capacity building for girls and boys to advocate for gender equality through online media and information literacy courses, 5) promoting the safety of women journalists and launch of a university network on media and gender for further research.

Call for safety, protection and freedom for Somalia press at workshop in Mogadishu

News - Wed, 08/10/2014 - 10:28

In Somalia, physical threats or harm committed against journalists are manifested in various forms: assassinations, imprisonment, physical abuse, attack and harassment.  SIMHA organized the training within the framework of its role as advocate for the rights of media houses. The training targeting editors intended to raise awareness of editors on the measures that can be taken to reduce violence against journalists. The training also looked at best practices to help journalists in covering civil disturbances. The Minister of Information Mustafa Ali Duhulow, speaking at the opening of the training, said that “conducting such training is priceless”. “Radio and other media outlets must be aware about security issues in the places where journalists are sent,” he added.

The representatives of the media reiterated that professionalism of the press cannot be guaranteed while it is under threat of violence. One participant noted that a just society highly depends on the media for sustainable development and equality for all, while discussing the difficult conditions in which Somalia journalists operate.  Participants were introduced to recorded training lessons from the Committee to Protect Journalists on safety of journalists.

UNESCO gives special attention to the safety of journalists and combating impunity of crimes and abuses against them. Since endorsing the Declarations of Windhoek, Alma Ata and Santiago, UNESCO has recognized that a media system should be free, pluralistic and independent if press freedom and freedom of expression are to be upheld.


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