Latest news

Subscribe to Latest news feed Latest news
Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women
Updated: 28 min 13 sec ago

Consultation meeting with IPDC Council members to take place today

Wed, 25/01/2017 - 10:57

Since 1980, the international community has been mobilized to support media development through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the only intergovernmental programme in the UN system that aims to strengthen media capacity in developing countries. Since its creation, IPDC has secured US$ 105 million in extra-budgetary funds and supported over 1,700 media development projects in 140 countries.

The overall responsibility for the Programme lies with the Intergovernmental Council of IPDC, which meets every two years to assess the work carried out by the Programme. It consists of representatives from 39 countries elected by the General Conference of UNESCO. The IPDC Bureau of eight Member States meets once a year and identifies projects worth supporting out of some 200 submissions received every year.

Within the context of the new 2030 Development Agenda, the IPDC Council decided, at its 30th session, to proceed with the initiative to commission a new evaluation of the Programme. The evaluation shall take into account how globalization and digitization have changed the communication systems, their functions as well as management practices and markets. Such changes have affected the activities of IPDC as well as UNESCO’s general work regarding media and communication. The main purpose of the evaluation is to assess the niche and impact of IPDC and to generate recommendations for the future.

The meeting will also discuss new projects and initiatives launched by the Programme, such as Defining Internet Universality Indicators, supported by Sweden; Training judicial authorities in Africa on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists through massive Open Online Course (MOOC), supported by Denmark; and several IPDC components of a multisectoral project on the Prevention of violent extremism through youth empowerment, jointly supported by the UN Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) and Canada.

The meeting will also consider the organization of the second IPDC Talks, an event convened in association with the Information for All Programme (IFAP) and supported by The Netherlands and Lithuania to mark the celebration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

Moscow event salutes the role of journalists

Mon, 19/12/2016 - 10:29

Svetlana Smirnova, the widow of journalist Alexander Efremov who was killed in Chechnya, along with the couple’s daughter and grand-daughter attended the event, as did family members of other killed journalists.

As a sign of respect for his work, a statue of Efremov has been erected in his home town by his community. President of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vsevolod Bogdanov, showed a miniature of the memorial (see photo), and highlighted the personal and societal loss when a journalist is murdered.

Secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Ali Akhmedovich Kamalov, who is also chair of the Journalists Union of Dagestan, appealed for support for funds for a 16-metre-high column to serve as a public monument in Makhachkala for 19 journalists who had lost their lives within his region since 1992.

While there had been no killings in the region in the past three years, he said, it was important to keep alive the memory of those who had lost their lives in the service of informing the public.

UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, underlined the contribution of journalists to society, the importance of celebrating their work and the need for justice in cases of killings.

He noted that 19 deaths had been recorded by UNESCO since 2006 in the Russian Federation, and that 11 had been judicially resolved according to information supplied by the Russian authorities to the Director-General’s report to the Organization’s International Programme for the Development of Communication.

From the International Federation of Journalists, Oliver Money-Kyrie said that no union had done as much as the Russian Union of Journalists to deal with the issue of journalists as victims of violence. “You are an inspiration to journalists everywhere,” he stated.

The event was accompanied by a seminar on threats and opportunities for regional media in the digital age, organized by the Russian Union of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists and the European Union.

Speaking during the seminar, Berger drew attention to the potential of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators, Media Viability Indicators, and the Media and Information Literacy country readiness matrix. “Research using these indicators can identify the strengths and weaknesses of regional media, which provides an evidence-base for actions to address the digital opportunities and threats,” he said.

Berger later delivered a lecture about UNESCO’s work at the faculty of journalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The week marked the last day of service as Executive Director of the Russian Union of Journalists by Nadezda Azhgikhina, and her achievements in the position since 2003 were hailed by Ricardo Gutierrez, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists. She will continue to work in the field of journalism development.

Moscow event salutes the role of journalists

Mon, 19/12/2016 - 10:29

Svetlana Smirnova, the widow of journalist Alexander Efremov who was killed in Chechnya, along with the couple’s daughter and grand-daughter attended the event, as did family members of other killed journalists.

As a sign of respect for his work, a statue of Efremov has been erected in his home town by his community. President of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vsevolod Bogdanov, showed a miniature of the memorial (see photo), and highlighted the personal and societal loss when a journalist is murdered.

Secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Ali Akhmedovich Kamalov, who is also chair of the Journalists Union of Dagestan, appealed for support for funds for a 16-metre-high column to serve as a public monument in Makhachkala for 19 journalists who had lost their lives within his region since 1992.

While there had been no killings in the region in the past three years, he said, it was important to keep alive the memory of those who had lost their lives in the service of informing the public.

UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, underlined the contribution of journalists to society, the importance of celebrating their work and the need for justice in cases of killings.

He noted that 19 deaths had been recorded by UNESCO since 2006 in the Russian Federation, and that 11 had been judicially resolved according to information supplied by the Russian authorities to the Director-General’s report to the Organization’s International Programme for the Development of Communication.

From the International Federation of Journalists, Oliver Money-Kyrie said that no union had done as much as the Russian Union of Journalists to deal with the issue of journalists as victims of violence. “You are an inspiration to journalists everywhere,” he stated.

The event was accompanied by a seminar on threats and opportunities for regional media in the digital age, organized by the Russian Union of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists and the European Union.

Speaking during the seminar, Berger drew attention to the potential of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators, Media Viability Indicators, and the Media and Information Literacy country readiness matrix. “Research using these indicators can identify the strengths and weaknesses of regional media, which provides an evidence-base for actions to address the digital opportunities and threats,” he said.

Berger later delivered a lecture about UNESCO’s work at the faculty of journalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The week marked the last day of service as Executive Director of the Russian Union of Journalists by Nadezda Azhgikhina, and her achievements in the position since 2003 were hailed by Ricardo Gutierrez, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists. She will continue to work in the field of journalism development.

My Killers Are Still Free: The story of a campaign

Fri, 25/11/2016 - 16:47

The campaign also highlighted the key findings of the biennial Report of the UNESCO Director-General on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, which was presented on 17 November to the 39 Member States of the Intergovernmental Council of the Organization’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

Through a series of representative cases of attacks against journalists, My Killers Are Still Free brought into the spotlight the statistics of a decade of violence against journalists, media workers and social media producers.

UNESCO has documented 827 journalists killed since 2006, when the IPDC mandated the Director-General to begin requesting information from Member States on the judicial investigations carried out into killings of journalists.

The campaign also presented powerful and heartfelt testimonials of close relatives, co-workers, and lawyers of killed journalists across the world, to reflect upon the distress caused by impunity at a personal level and the damage to society as a whole.

“The proper conclusions of investigations into acts of impunity are important in order to reestablish the governance and the rule of law. […] If we continue to allow these outstanding investigations and abuses to go unaddressed, people will lose faith in the institutions of the State and a country will not be able to achieve its security and development goals,” said Sonali Simarasinghe, widow of murdered Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, in one of the testimonials featured in the campaign.

UNESCO’s efforts joined with those of many other actors calling to end impunity for crimes against journalists, with the Twitter hashtag #EndImpunity reaching 140 million potential impressions in one week.

My Killers Are Still Free was widely shared in social media by UN agencies, media development organizations and media leaders from around the world, reaching approximately 300K users in Facebook, 650K impressions in Twitter and 70K impressions in Instagram

The International Day to End Impunity and the My Killers Are Still campaign together received coverage from at least 250 newspapers around the world.

The Organization’s message cautioning on the danger of impunity to the right to know was reinforced by an Op-Ed by Frank La Rue, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, which was published by over 40 media outlets.

In total, 32 events were organized worldwide by UNESCO and partners for this third edition of IDEI, through which UNESCO sought to keep the memory alive of killed media workers and to reinforce the call to resolve the crimes against them.

Albana Shala re-elected Chair of IPDC

Tue, 22/11/2016 - 15:18

Ms Shala (The Netherlands), who became the first woman Chair of the Programme at the 29th Council session, was praised by Council members for her success in chairing the IPDC since 2014.

With over 15 years of experience in the independent media development field, Ms. Shala is an expert in areas including media training and development, media and communication strategies and advocacy for media freedoms, gender equality and journalists’ safety. She is currently Programme Coordinator at Free Press Unlimited, a Dutch NGO supporting independent media in more than 40 countries.

The IPDC Council also elected Ecuador, Mongolia and Zambia, as Vice-Chairpersons of the Programme as well as Denmark, Oman, and Poland as Bureau members. Niger was further elected for the position of Rapporteur.

The Council of the IPDC meets once every two years to reflect on the latest trends in the media development field and decide on future action. The next Council session will be held on 15-16 November 2018.

The power of gender-transformative media development projects

Mon, 21/11/2016 - 15:27

As recalled by Ms Gülser Corat, UNESCO Director of the Division for Gender Equality, gender equality is one of UNESCO's two global priorities, with a commitment to promote equality between women and men across the Organization's mandate. It is recognized both as an important end in itself and as an essential means for the achievement of sustainable development in all its dimensions.

Ms Annette Young, France 24 journalist and presenter, explained that, due to their transformational nature, media tend to create and strengthen gender stereotypes. Mainly managed by men, women are poorly represented in the world of television and news in general. “A BBC report published in October 2016, illustrates how empowering women in the media is essential to overcome gender inequalities in society at large”, she said.

Other guests included Ms Misako Ito, UNESCO Advisor for Communication and Information in the Bangkok Office, and Mr Elvis Michel Kenmoe, UNESCO CI Officer in Gabon Office, who presented examples of successful gender transformative projects from their respective regions.

The discussion was welcomed by IPDC Council Member States who reflected on possible ways to place more emphasis on gender-transformative projects and to position gender equality and women’s empowerment at the center of IPDC’s media development agenda.

30th session of IPDC Council to open tomorrow

Wed, 16/11/2016 - 11:53

The 30th Council session will see representatives from its 39 UNESCO Member States come together to discuss the overall direction of the Programme, its priories and assess its achievements during the past biennium.

Among the diverse topics included in the agenda, the Council is expected to debate gender-transformative approaches to media development, the impact of the Programme’s monitoring and reporting mechanism on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity and the overall Programme’s contribution to the 2030 development agenda.

The UNESCO Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity will also be formally presented to Council members. The report offers an overview of the killings of journalists condemned by the Director-General in 2014-2015 and an analysis of a decade of killings of journalists, media workers and social media producers between 2006 and 2015.

The Council of the IPDC meets once every two years to reflect on the latest trends in the media development field and decide on future action. The 29th Council meeting was held on 20 and 21 November 2014.