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Young reporters cover UNESCO´s World Press Freedom Day International Conference

News - Fri, 16/05/2014 - 15:20

This was the third year in which a Youth Newsroom was set up during the global celebration of World Press Freedom Day, and it was the biggest one yet! Thirty-three young journalism students and recent graduates from fourteen countries participated, taking photos, writing articles, producing audiovisual material and podcasts in English, French and Arabic, focusing on this year´s WPFD theme “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda”.

“We are working as reporters for everybody, for the same conference, and for our partners back home, to tell them about the conference… I like the newsroom, because of the new friendship built with my colleagues, who are part of the same team… and I like the idea of keeping in touch,” said Mazen, from Palestine.

For Dimitri (France), the most interesting thing was interviewing, and being among really important people and journalists. “It was like being a child at Christmas time. It was awesome, it was really awesome,” he said.

The École Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris was the host school of this year´s WPFD Youth Newsroom, which was organized in partnership with the World Editors Forum/World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, the American University of Sharjah and the University of Oregon.

The organization of the 2014 WPFD Youth Newsroom was made possible thanks to funding from European Union, under the Networks of Mediterranean Youth Project (NET-MED Youth) which, among other objectives, promotes young men and women’s freedom of expression and representation in media in 10 countries of the eastern and western Basins of the Mediterranean Sea. The project seeks to facilitate the involvement of young men and women in media production, reinforce capacities and facilitate South-South and North-South interaction and exchange among young journalists.  

“I like the fact that I can meet journalists from all around the world… and to work all together and talk about the liberty and security of journalists… it is my first experience in an international meeting, and I really enjoyed it,” declared Djamila, from Algeria. Emily, from Australia, enjoyed the practical component of the UNESCO Youth Newsroom, working to real deadlines and functioning in a sort of real-time newsroom. “I liked meeting people from around the world, who share the same passion of journalism as me; and I´m learning different skills from them,” she added.

The concept of the WPFD Youth Newsroom is aligned with the priority that UNESCO places in mainstreaming youth into media work, considering their emergence as mass communicators, both on-line and off -line, as relevant stakeholders in freedom of expression and its uses. Their participation in the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day was particularly relevant in light of this year’s theme, given the critical role of youth in the post-2015 development agenda and considering how media can help catalyze it, for example by underpinning their contribution to decision-making and democratic consolidation (as reflected in UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021).

Check out the 2014 WPFD Youth Newsroom homepage to access the material produced by the young participating reporters!  

Watch a video about the 2014 Newsroom produced by the Doha Centre for Media Freedom´s Junior Reporters (who were part of the newsroom themselves).

Asia-Pacific Memory of the World Register enriched with sixteen new collections

News - Fri, 16/05/2014 - 14:56

The MOWCAP General Meeting was co-hosted by the State Archive Administration of China (SAAC), the Guangdong Province and the Guangzhou municipal government, with the support from the UNESCO offices in Bangkok and Beijing. For the first time, the MOWCAP biennial event was also attended by representatives from Bangladesh, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Samoa.  

"This is our biggest General Meeting to date," said the outgoing Chairperson of the Bureau Ray Edmonson, “with a record number of inscriptions which doubles the Asia-Pacific Register.”

In the opening remarks, the Director-General of the SAAC Yang Dongquan said that "delegates from countries and regions throughout Asia-Pacific as well as UNESCO are gathered here together to share experience and exchange views, which will definitely promote the progress of regional work of the MOW and documentary heritage protection.”

The MOWCAP General Meeting was also followed by a capacity building Symposium. The sixteen new inscriptions added to the MOWCAP regional register were selected among twenty one nominations proposed by national committees, organizations or individuals from fifteen countries.

The new inscriptions are: Queensland South Sea Islander Indentured Labour records 1863-1908 (Australia); the Reamker by Tukrut (Cambodia); the Double Stellar Hemisphere (China), The Proclamation ‘E Tuatua Akakite’ 1891 (Cook Islands), Polynesian Immigrants Records 1896-1914 (Fiji), ‘The Soul of the Reef’ documentary film (Iran), Vendidad (Iran), Al-Masaalik Wa Al-Mamaalik (Iran), Neo Lao Hak Xath Film Collection 1953-1980 (Lao PDR), Loamanfaanu (Maldives), Sutra Great Deity Tara (Mongolia), Western Pacific Archives (News Zealand), Archives of German-Samoa Colonial Administration (Samoa), Asian Film Archives Collection Cathay-Keris Malay Classics (Singapore), Imperial records of Nguyen  Dynasty 1802-1945 (Viet Nam); and with one item from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Collections of Documents and Images of Karbala, provisionally registered waiting for administrative information.

The delegates elected the new MOWCAP Bureau composed by Li Minhua as Chair (Deputy Director-General of the State Archive Administration of China), and as vice-chairs Fatima Fahimnia (Iran), Dianne Macaskill (New Zealand), Kim Kwibae (Republic of Korea), Vu Thi Minh Huong (Viet Nam). Ms. Helen Swinnerton was reconfirmed as MOWCAP Secretary-General, with Rosa Maria Gonzalez as ex-officio member from the UNESCO Secretariat. Special advisors are: Prof. Simon Chu, Sarah Choy, Dr. Ray Edmonson, and Richard Engelhardt, while Dr. Rajaya Abhakorn (Thailand) was reconfirmed as MOWCAP Goodwill Patron.

The Memory of the World is the documented, collective memory of the peoples of the world – their documentary heritage – which in turn represents a large proportion of the world’s cultural heritage. It charts the evolution of thought, discovery and achievement of human society. It is the legacy of the past to the world community of the present and the future. The Memory of the World Programme, established by UNESCO in 1992, recognizes documentary heritage of international, regional and national significance, maintains registers of it, and awards a logo to identify it. It facilitates preservation, and access without discrimination. It campaigns to raise awareness of the documentary heritage, to alert governments, the general public, business and commerce to preservation needs, and to raise funds. The Memory of the World Programme maintains a global perspective embracing all countries and peoples, whose collective efforts will be needed to ensure that the Memory is retained undistorted and undiminished.

WSIS outcomes: Assessing progress on implementation and follow-up

News - Wed, 14/05/2014 - 09:29

The meeting is also discussing the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) outcomes at regional and international levels. It was opened by Andrew Reynolds, Chair of CSTD and Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD. This was followed by a series of addresses by Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of ITU; Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN; Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO. The session concluded with a video address by Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on post-2015 Development Planning.

In his address to the Commission, the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Mr Engida stated: “Our goals are clear – to eradicate poverty, to craft inclusive, knowledge societies, where every woman and man is empowered to create knowledge from information and contribute fully to society. Science, technology and innovation are essential for achieving this vision.”

Mr Engida also stressed the importance of STI for the creation of knowledge, economic growth and for the sustainability of development. As UNESCO’s focus is on capacity building, policy and content development, the Deputy Director-General furthermore highlighted that alone, technology is not enough - it must be married with skills and opportunities for all. “We cannot just invest in science and technology - we need to invest in ecosystems,” he stated.

This UNESCO vision of a holistic and integrated approach of technologies towards inclusive Knowledge Societies has been built on UNESCO’s initial contribution to the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes. 

Sauti FM holds capacity building training for its staff in Kenya

News - Wed, 07/05/2014 - 09:49

The training on the role of correspondents to feed local news and collect testimonies aimed at empowering participants with knowledge and skills on how to gather different news items and testimonies, which are of concern to the audience. With this training, participants will now be able to properly source for news stories and testimonies for broadcast at the radio station. Training on the use of Internet to report on subject areas such agriculture, health and education equipped participants with enhanced knowledge and skills to effectively conduct research for the development of news stories by also capitalizing on the use of new media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube among others.

The training on entrepreneurship and income generation empowered participants to effectively be able to cover these issues during on-air programmes, whereas the training on financial planning and management enabled participants to discuss, explain and apply ethical principles, standards of practice and rules of conduct for the financial planning at the radio station.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr Fredrick Mariwa, Sauti FM Station Manager, stated that the trainings were key in deepening and improving knowledge and skills of Sauti FM staff members. He further thanked UNESCO for its continued support and help in building the capacities of community radio stations in Kenya.

Another participant, Mr Peter Kochiel, said, “This training has come at the right time for Sauti FM staff and we are glad that the most important issues such as financial planning, use of Internet to report on agriculture, health and women empowerment, entrepreneurship and income generation among others were prioritized.” “This training will be very instrumental in the running of day-to-day work as we have now been equipped with knowledge and skills to run our radio station,” he added.

Discussions, practical exercises and lectures were used as a mode of delivery for the aforementioned trainings to enhance and encourage participation, thus enabling participants to properly grasp issues raised during the training.

This workshop was carried out as part UNESCO’s continued efforts to strengthen and build capacities of community radios in Kenya under the ongoing SIDA funded project “Empowering Community radios with ICTs.” 

Enhancing access to education through ICT in Kenya

News - Tue, 06/05/2014 - 10:50

The workshop aimed at populating a knowledge deepening course for primary education teachers in Kenya with national and international OERs and thus builds capacity of participants to enable them to adapt and customise Open Education Resources (OER) and thus support deployment of the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers within the Kenyan context. Furthermore the workshop capacitated participants in instructional design principles, including ideal structure of a blended course delivered as professional development opportunity. Mr Andrew Moore, the facilitator of the workshop stated that “there is need for OER ICT CFT to complement the Kenya Governments One laptop per Child project as this will enhance its integration to the country’s education programme.”

The training attracted participation of Kenyan ICT CFT OER courseware developers from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa, Kenya Education Management Institute, Kenya Institute of Special Education, Kenya Technical Teachers College, Strathmore University, and Inoorero University. Many, if not all of the participants found the workshop to be of great value and of great need for themselves or their respective institutions. Participants were ready to take on the challenge posed during the workshop and were eager to move on to integrating the concepts they had been taught into practical activities.

This workshop comes as a follow up of the workshop held from 18 to 22 November 2013 that took stock of existing ICT teacher training initiatives in Kenya and proposed the UNESCO project to focus on offering additional professional development opportunities to those teachers and school managers who had completed the initial ICT integration training. The UNESCO project will enable the Teacher Service Commission to offer ‘follow-up’ training at a slightly higher level using a different mode of delivery in order to contain costs for both the project coordinators and participants.

This activity is a direct follow-up to the 2012 World Congress on Open Educational Resources which released the Paris Declaration on OERs calling on Governments to openly license all educational materials produced with public funds. Supported by a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA), UNESCO is working with the Governments of Kenya, Oman, Bahrain, and Indonesia to implement dynamic and relevant policies to guide and recognize teachers and learners to find, adapt, use, develop, and share open educational resources.

Selon l’UNESCO, les médias libres font partie intégrante du développement durable

Actualités - Fri, 02/05/2014 - 10:51

Le rapport dévoilé lors de la 58ème réunion du Bureau du Conseil intergouvernemental du Programme international pour le développement de la communication(PIDC) vise à préciser en quoi l’UNESCO voit une opportunité pour la communauté internationale de concrétiser la connexion entre des médias libres, indépendants et pluralistes, et le développement durable.

Le résumé est mentionné dans  une mise à jour du statut de l’initiative du Développement des médias axé sur le savoir approuvée par le PIDC et présentée par Fackson Banda, spécialiste de programme du secteur de la liberté d’expression et du développement des médias de l’UNESCO.

La présentation a souligné le fait que le PIDC avait collecté suffisamment de données du projet de mise en place de développement des médias afin de permettre aux États membres d’aboutir à une idée claire sur la façon dont les médias indépendants peuvent soutenir leurs objectifs de développement.

Le résumé liste trois arguments clés pour la mise en œuvre de cette question : tout d’abord, le fait qu’il existe suffisamment de données empiriques qui suggèrent que les médias libres ont un effet positif sur le développement durable ; ensuite, l’idée que toute action qui vise à intégrer les médias libres au cœur de la démocratie et du développement est un indicateur de bonne gouvernance – le rapport insiste sur le fait que le Open Working Groupe des Nations Unies fait constamment référence à cette question dans ses rapports ; enfin, le fait que le soutien aux médias libres rejoint le mandat principal du système des Nations Unies – acceptés par beaucoup d’États membres.

La réunion du Bureau qui s’est tenue les 20 et 21 mars 2014 au siège de l’UNESCO à Paris a également entendu le positionnement de l’Organisation qui s’engage dans deux sens : créer un savoir qui pourrait être utilisé afin d’augmenter le soutien international aux médias et continuer à travailler pour établir une base de preuves solides pour le rôle des médias dans différents aspects du développement durable.

Les membres du Bureau ont reçu un rapport d’analyse élaboré à partir des rapports de mise en place du PIDC préparés par les quelques 200 bénéficiaires du Programme. Le rapport – élément phare de la contribution de l’UNESCO au débat sur le développement des médias – a traité plusieurs questions, dont la nécessité d’une meilleure compréhension du contexte culturel et institutionnel de la mise en place du projet PIDC.

En acceptant la mise à jour du statut de l’initiative, les membres du Bureau ont mentionné que l’UNESCO était la mieux placée pour donner des éléments fondés sur la relation entre le développement des médias et le développement durable.

Knowledge-Based Economy Conference held in Riyadh

News - Fri, 02/05/2014 - 10:35

Over the two-day Conference in Riyadh the role of knowledge in national development was addressed by eminent experts, representatives of UN Agencies, Ministers and other high level government officials. The Conference covered three main themes:

  • Human Resources and Education,
  • Role of Research, Innovation and Investment,
  • Information and Telecommunication Technology: Managing Knowledge and Promoting Performances.

A knowledge-based economy was considered to be a key driver for growth and sustainable development established by technology, innovation and creativity. At this important event UNESCO was represented by Mr Boyan Radoykov, Knowledge Society Division, Communication and Information Sector, who underlined in his address on the topic “Bridging the knowledge divides through ICTs in Education - empowering people, transforming lives” that:

Knowledge is produced as a result of reflection, thought, and becomes a personal view and response. Having this personal position, this personal sovereignty, acting in accordance with the acquired knowledge is fundamental for the citizen’s active and productive participation in society. (…) This is why we cannot just invest in technology – we must invest in ecosystems – in quality education, in information literacy, in public policies fostering freedom of the media.

Education is much more than information; it is much more than knowledge. Education gives to all women and men in the world the capacity to own their destinies, to make competent social choices. The right of access to education and knowledge remains a fundamental right that should be upheld with greater efficiency and imagination, in a spirit of equity and mutual respect.”

Gender awareness in media promoted in China thanks to IPDC project

News - Wed, 30/04/2014 - 12:48

Professor Liu Liqun, Director of the Media and Gender Institute of CUC and UNESCO Media and Gender Chair holder, noted in her keynote speech that one of the reasons to promoting gender-awareness in mass media is the clear understanding, rational and objective judgment on the status of gender-awareness in mass media. She also highlighted the importance of training journalism educators, and expressed the wish that the conclusion of this IPDC project leads to further enhancing gender-awareness in Chinese media.

The UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender at the Communication University had launched the project in November 2012, aiming to pilot UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators in Media (GSIM) in selected Chinese newsrooms. Throughout 2013, CUC’s Chair conducted a media monitoring based on GSIM assessing gender awareness and gender sensitivity with eight Chinese media outlets. The outcome of the monitoring report shows that gender stereotypes are often prevailing while reporting, and that various types of gender-based violence are sometimes reported unprofessionally in the news, often because of socio-cultural reasons and lack of gender-sensitive awareness among media practitioners. The report also recommends localizing GSIM in China.

At the seminar, media managers from the organizations involved in the project implementation shared their understanding of GSIM and put forward future plans for further promoting GSIM in their institutions and daily work.

On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, stated: “As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Conference and the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals and as we shape a new global sustainable development agenda to follow 2015, we must ensure that women’s empowerment and gender equality stand at the heart of all of our work to craft a better future.” During the seminar, Andrea Cairola, from UNESCO’s Beijing Office, encouraged media organizations and professionals in China to further take advantage of UNESCO’s GSIM as a tool for advancing gender equality in their respective work.

The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks to enable media capacity building. In the UNESCO Beijing cluster countries, in recent years, IPDC has supported a number of projects related to the promotion of freedom of information, improving the media landscape in the ethnic minority areas, supporting community radio in Mongolia, and promoting gender awareness and gender sensitive reporting.

Fighting HIV and AIDS: First UNESCO supported Codefest held in China

News - Wed, 30/04/2014 - 09:34

The six multidisciplinary teams were composed by IT programmers and developers, digital animation makers and digital-artists. They “pitched” their multimedia product proposals to a panel of experts. Among the presented works were a series of animated motion-graphics creatively illustrating the history of contraception, and two apps for smartphones, including a videogame mainstreaming information on sexual education.

Participants also shared their views on the products’ conception, difficulties encountered and lessons learnt from this experience. They have voiced their concerns on HIV/AIDS and sexual health problems that young people are facing today, hoping to increase their peers’ awareness on such issues.

Andrea Cairola, from UNESCO’s Beijing Office, echoed UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General, Getachew Engida, by saying that the web is not just a technical and technological issue but also a human and social one. He also highlighted that “coding” is becoming an essential tool, opening up many new opportunities for learning, so that young people can do more than just “read” new technologies - but also create them.

Using new media innovatively to increase young people knowledge on HIV and AIDS and sexual health has been the focus of the Beijing Office efforts since 2012. In China there are 780,000 people living with HIV; 80% of 48,000 new infections in 2011 were through sexual transmission. New HIV infections among young students are also increasing, almost 90% of which are through sexual transmission. Studies show that, though most youth have had pre-marital sex, less than 5% of them possess comprehensive knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, and less than 15% of them know how to prevent HIV infection.

In recent years, HIV and AIDS and sexuality education for teenagers and young adults has developed alongside the fast development of ICTs, with Internet becoming a major channel. Over 64% of Chinese adolescents and young adults (10-29) are Internet-users and their most preferred methods for accessing knowledge about sexuality, and HIV and AIDS are search engines and online user-generated Q&A platforms, according to a review conducted with the support of UNESCO.

On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2013, UNESCO also supported, together with partners, the launch of dedicated channels on China’s most popular online services to raise awareness on accurate and comprehensive HIV and sexuality education knowledge, including a professional Q&A channel on Baidu Zhidao/Knows (query-based searchable online community), a professional page on Baidu Baike (online encyclopedia), and an online classroom on Iqiyi (video hosting service) with  short educational videos featuring China’s most influential experts and scholars.

In August 2013, more than 30 teams from 16 universities in Beijing submitted proposals for new media products and five teams were selected to participate in a capacity building workshop in December 2013. The workshop provided students an opportunity to develop and improve their original product design with senior IT, new media experts and creativity thinking mentors, as well as a chance to get sensitized on HIV and sexuality knowledge.

Douala conference on communication highlights UNESCO guidebook on climate journalism

News - Thu, 24/04/2014 - 16:19

The session, held on 11 April and moderated by Dr Tchiadeu Gratien, a climatologist in the Department of Geography at the University of Douala, focused on journalism education as a ‘window of opportunity’ for introducing climate literacy into the classroom – and eventually into the newsroom.

Unveiling UNESCO’s recently published book Climate Change in Africa: a Guidebook for Journalists, Fackson Banda, programme specialist responsible for journalism education and knowledge-driven media development at UNESCO HQ in Paris, outlined the educational, democratic and developmental benefits of climate change journalism for African countries.

Another UNESCO publication introduced was the Compendium of New Syllabi, with Banda drawing the over 50 participants’ attention to the module on science journalism and bioethics, incorporating climate change.

The participants, who included teachers and students from Cameroon, Burkina Faso and France, decried the near lack of authoritative reporting on climate change, welcoming the UNESCO publications as important tools in the journalistic struggle to raise public awareness of the issue.

However, while many participants thought the books would be a useful resource, several wondered how the resource-constrained African media could undertake meaningful investigative climate change journalism, and asked if governments would provide an enabling environment.

In response, Banda informed the participants of UNESCO’s intergovernmental International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), including its annual grants for initiatives aimed at improving both the regulation and practices of media organisations in Africa.

The meeting recommended that students and teachers of communication and geography collaborate in their research projects on climate change and communication, drawing in insights from both disciplines to better shape the interdisciplinary basis of adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

The colloquium, held from 10 to 12 April, was the third in the series, with over 200 participants drawn from Cameroon, Canada, Belgium, Burkina Faso and France.

UNESCO contributes to current Internet debates

News - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 17:00

Speaking at three separate meetings, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida, affirmed the Organization’s commitment to promoting the values of free expression online, and to making a positive impact on the post-2015 development agenda and the next phase of the World Summit on the Information Society.

At the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, also known as NETmundial, Engida noted that the principle of free expression, along with others relevant to UNESCO, was integrated within the draft outcome statement of the conference

In his remarks, he also encouraged more emphasis in the outcome statement on social inclusion, gender equality, Africa, and Small Island Developing States, open access, and Media and Information Literacy as a frame for digital literacy.

The transition of the Internet Domain Name System should “maintain the openness, robustness, decentralized and interoperable nature of the Internet, while providing the means for a truly multi-stakeholder involvement in its governance,” Engida told the conference.

The UNESCO Deputy Director-General also spoke at the “Regional Expert Meeting on Internet, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights”, convened by the Office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and Instituto Demos, with the support of UNESCO Montevideo Office, Ford Foundation, the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee and Global Partners Digital.

More than 30 NGOs and experts based in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, United States, United Kingdom and Uruguay debated how to protect and promote Freedom of Expression in the Internet era.

Engida delivered closing remarks at the meeting, noting that the results of the discussion would serve as a contribution for UNESCO’s Comprehensive Study on Internet-Related issues, and he invited further responses from participants.

The third event engaged by the Deputy Director-General was a consultation by UNESCO, NIC.Br and LACNIC on draft Internet Indicators of relevance to UNESCO’s mandate.

In his opening statement, Engida described the evolution of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators, and noted that the draft concept of Internet Universality could inform the process of identifying indicators for assessing issues in cyberspace.

The Internet Universality concept pinpoints the principles of human rights online, openness in the Internet ecosystem, digital accessibility for marginalised groups and languages, and multi-stakeholder participation.  

“If the indicators reach a stage of elaboration that is ripe enough, we will present them to the UNESCO governing bodies for consideration,” said the UNESCO Deputy Director General.

Last preparatory meeting of the second WSIS+10 Review event to be held in June 2014 in Geneva

News - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 09:39

Pending the official UN General Assembly decision on the modalities of the WSIS+10 Review process, now awaited for April 2014, UNESCO hosted the first WSIS+10 Review Event in February 2013, and ITU will have organized five  preparatory meetings leading to the second, ITU hosted WSIS+10 Event in June 2014.

The fourth preparatory meeting took place from 14 to 17 April 2014. Participants nearly finished with the second reading of the two WSIS+10 “chapeau” documents - the implementation statement and vision documents, which are prepared for adoption by acclamation at the 2014 WSIS+10 meeting. The discussion of the important Human Rights and the cybersecurity parts of these documents will be re-opened at the fifth preparatory meeting, as participants did not deem them ready for agreement last week.

The negotiated/agreed text duly mentions the first UNESCO-hosted WSIS+10 Event and its Final Statement that was developed by a multistakeholder group at the 2013 Event and later endorsed by UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference by consensus. The participants agreed on the following:

“We note … the event titled “First WSIS+10 Review Event Towards Knowledge Societies, for peace and sustainable development” hosted by UNESCO and co-organized with ITU, UNCTAD and UNDP in February 2013 and its results.”

At last week’s meeting, a considerable number of participants questioned the possibility of finalizing the Human Rights and cybersecurity references, plus 18 Action Line texts at the next four-day preparatory meeting.

UNESCO reiterated its willingness to continue doing everything possible to facilitate a successful second WSIS+10 Event with satisfying outcomes.

UNESCO produced and distributed hardcopies of 10 years WSIS+10 review publication, informing participants about what has been achieved, of remaining gaps and ways forward, particularly for the 6 Action Lines facilitated by UNESCO.

UNESCO to take part in NETmundial conference

News - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 15:48

Deputy Director General, Mr Getachew Engida, and the Director of UNESCO’s Division for Knowledge Societies, Mr Indrajit Banerjee, will raise issues related to UNESCO’s mandate – particularly on freedom of expression and access to knowledge.

“Also on our agenda is to promote participation in UNESCO’s comprehensive study of Internet issues, which we have launched according to the mandate of the November 2014 General Conference of the 195 member states of the Organisation,” said Engida.

The delegation will be supported by the UNESCO Office in Brasilia, headed by Lucien André Muñoz, and by Guilherme Canela Godoi, Regional Advisor for Communication and Information in Montevideo.

NETmundial is convened to discuss two important issues relevant for the future evolution of the Internet, in an open and multistakeholder fashion: Internet Governance Principles and Roadmap for the future evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem.

UNESCO has submitted two substantial written contributions to NETmundial on:

  1. Internet Universality: A Means Towards Building Knowledge Societies and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda;
  2. UNESCO comprehensive study on Internet-related.

UNESCO contributions have received positive feedback from stakeholders and the proposed Internet Universality principles including freedom of expression, openness, accessibility to all and multi-stakeholder participation have been widely quoted and reiterated by stakeholders.

UNESCO has proposed several amendments to the draft outcome statement on its paragraphs 6, 15, 25, 32 and 33 and 34, highlighting the need  to address social inclusion, gender, Africa, Small Island Developing States, open access to education resources, and Media and Information Literacy.

While in Sao Paolo, members of the UNESCO team will attend a consultation on freedom of expression convened by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and a consultation meeting on Internet indicators with NIC.BR and LACNIC.

There will also be discussions with Regional Centre of Studies for the Development of the Information Society under the auspices of UNESCO (CETIC.br), and electronic publishing partnership SCIELO.

For further information, contact:

Formations sur la sécurité digitale pour les journalistes tunisiens

Actualités - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 17:30

Ces  formations avaient pour objectif de sensibiliser les journalistes aux défis posés à la sécurité de leurs communications, ainsi qu’à celle de leurs sources, de leur fournir des outils et techniques pour protéger leur navigation sur l’internet, de se protéger contre les intrusions sur l’ordinateur et messagerie électronique, ainsi que d’optimiser la sécurité de leurs données digitales.

« Les ordinateurs de certains participants étaient infectés par plus de 130 virus, je n’avais jamais observé de cas aussi graves durant ma carrière » a précisé Bahaa Nasr formateur au sein de l’IWPR – Liban. L’une des participantes a déclaré : « je réalise aujourd’hui à quel point mon ordinateur et mes données étaient vulnérables et le risque que je fais encourir à l’ensemble des collègues de la rédaction ».

Ce projet se situe dans la continuité du travail effectué par l’UNESCO depuis la Révolution du 14 janvier 2011 en Tunisie. Il vise à l’amélioration de la sécurité des journalistes travaillant en Tunisie, notamment les femmes journalistes, ainsi qu’à la promotion de la liberté d’expression afin de soutenir le  processus de transition démocratique en cours.

Ces formations ont été rendues possibles grâce au soutien financier de la Finlande, ainsi que la coopération du bureau de RSF à Tunis et du Centre Tunisien pour la Liberté de la Presse.

Arab media experts embrace UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators

News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 16:46

The three-day workshop focused on UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs), a tool for assessing media development in a given country that can identify areas in which assistance is most needed. The associated Journalists’ Safety Indicators were also introduced.

Participants in last week’s workshop praised the rigor and breadth of the MDI framework, which they said could provide a valuable tool for media research and development in the Arab region.

The MDIs “provide an excellent opportunity for gathering information that is badly needed in this part of the world,” said Nabil Dajani, Professor of Media Studies at the American University in Beirut. “I have been trying for years to collect such information. With this approach you can come out with facts, with information that is really relevant and that will help develop the media situation in the Arab world.”

Dima Dabbous, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University, agreed, calling the MDIs a “wonderful way of measuring or mapping progress” through a common methodology that can be used by researchers in different countries.

Both participants also saw the MDIs as a pedagogical method that they could bring to their university courses to train future media researchers.

For Mohammed Abdulrahman, Partners and Intenational Development Coordinator at Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the training workshop was “vitally important” for his work in developing partnerships with media organizations in the Arab region, by providing a way to assess the strengths and needs of potential partners.

The workshop also allowed participants to exchange with other researchers with shared interests from across the region.

“I will leave this conference not only having learned more about the MDIs themselves, but also with a large network of Arab professionals with whom I can connect later on to do more research in this common field,” said Dabbous.

In addition to the benefits to the participants, the workshop was also strategically important for UNESCO’s ongoing work to promote freedom of expression and media development in the Arab region.

MDI-based assessments have been completed in 11 countries and are currently underway in 18 others. In the Arab region, such assessments have been completed in Egypt and Tunisia, are underway in Iraq, Libya and Palestine, and are planned in several other countries.

 “Through this regional workshop, UNESCO was able to achieve two important objectives,” said Saorla McCabe, coordinator of the MDI initiative. “Firstly, it allowed us to build a pool of potential partners for future MDI-based assessments in the Arab region, comprising high-level media researchers with excellent knowledge of the region. Secondly, we could fine-tune the Organization’s approach to applying the MDIs in this particular context, through an interactive discussion on the most appropriate research methods and data sources, challenges and opportunities.”

The workshop was supported by two regional extrabudgetary projects: Promoting an Enabling Environment for Freedom of Expression: Global Action with Special Focus on the Arab Region, financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Promoting Freedom of Expression in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators were endorsed by the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in 2008.

They have since been recognized internationally by major actors in the media development field, including the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Council of Europe, the International Federation of Journalists, International Media Support, the Media Foundation for West Africa and the Doha Centre for Media Freedom.

Training on digital security for Tunisian journalists

News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 16:38

The workshops aimed at sensitizing journalists about challenges they face regarding the security of their communications and their sources. Participants have been equipped with tools and techniques enabling them to secure their Internet browsing, to protect themselves against intrusions into their computer and email as well as to enhance the security of their digital data.

“Computers of some participants have been infected by more than 130 viruses. I had never seen such serious cases during my career,” said Bahaa Nasr, trainer from IWPR. One of the participant stated, “I realize now to which extent my computer and my data have been vulnerable, and the risk to which I subject all my newsroom colleagues.

This project is being implemented in the framework of the UNESCO’s work conducted in Tunisia since the Revolution of 14 January 2011. It aims at enhancing the safety of journalists working in Tunisia, particularly female journalists, and at promoting freedom of expression in order to support the undergoing process of transition towards democracy.

The training workshops were made possible through financial support of Finland, and in cooperation with the Reporters without Borders Office in Tunis and the Tunisian Centre for Press Freedom.

UNESCO partners with Media Council of Kenya to train journalists on gender sensitive reporting

News - Wed, 09/04/2014 - 17:12

The training, which brought together 20 participants (11 men and 8 women), was a second in the series of workshops aimed at building capacities of Kenyan journalists to report on gender sensitive issues in order to promote women leadership in counties’ governments. These trainings also have for objective to promote more diverse and gender-sensitive media and to increase the overall professional capacity of journalists in Kenya.

The training in Nyeri County equipped participants with skills necessary to prepare gender-balanced reports and to focus on the importance of gender issues for development. “The training made me understand how cultural stereotypes have side-lined women as media sources and subjects, presenting them as victims while they do have positive stories and ideas to share with the public,” stated Seth Mwaniki a participant from The People newspaper.

According to Carol Nderi, a journalist working for the Kenya Television Network (KTN), the constitution stipulates the need for public involvement in the county government. The emphasis has, therefore, be placed on the empowerment of women and the youth as sources and subjects of news stories.

Florence Mwaniki, a participant from Kangema Ranet, said, “The fact that the counties have only few women as representatives is due to the little coverage given to women candidates by the local media during the last year’s elections.” “Media need to change this perspective for the upcoming elections,” she added.

The training was based on the Media Monitoring Reports 2013 issued by the country’s Media Council as well as UNESCO studies, such as Getting the balance right: gender equality in journalism, showing that women are rarely considered as credible news sources and have to struggle to receive coverage and legitimacy in the eyes of media and the public at large.

This activity was supported by the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Kenya.

BBC event discusses UN action plan on journalists’ safety

News - Tue, 08/04/2014 - 11:18

He was speaking at a symposium in London on 7 April, hosted by BBC Global News and the Centre for Freedom of the Media, called ‘Making the Protection of Journalists A Reality: Time to end Impunity’.

Horrocks countered reservations in the media about proactive engagement on safety issues, adding that “major news organizations have a special responsibility to show leadership”.

Other speakers also made reference to the UN Plan, including the Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon. He said that the UN had made a high level commitment to the safety of journalists, and that defined progress was needed if this was to be more than public relations.

Speaking at the symposium, the UNESCO Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, noted increasing momentum in the UN. He pointed to:

The BBC symposium included a protest (pictured above) led by Peter Horrocks, which was staged in front of the BBC building, and called for the release of journalists on trial and an end to impunity for the killers of journalists.

Reporters Sans Frontiers Director Christof Deloire criticised states that “protect their image more than protecting journalists.” Other speakers described conditions in several regions, noting that some governments sought to protect their image by persecuting journalists – an action that paradoxically harmed their image even more.

Further discussion addressed how court rulings, although often slow to secure, could set precedents to assist the safety of journalists. Also addressed was the importance of supporting families of killed journalists especially given their leading role in securing justice for their slain relatives.

Cherilyn Ireton, Director of the World Editors Forum, said it was time to move the story of safety of journalists from the news rooms to the news pages.


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