Selected proceedings of a major UNESCO conference on media, peace and development have been published to coincide with World Press Freedom Day 2015.
The English version of the publication will be launched at the global ceremony in Riga, Latvia, and the Bahasa version is in production for a launch in Jakarta in mid-May.
“Media in support of sustainable development and a culture of peace” is a compilation of presentations delivered at the conference “Global Media Forum: the role of media in realizing the future we want for all”, co-organised by UNESCO and the government of Indonesia in Bali, during August 2014.
The publication includes a foreword by Dr Freddy Tulung, Director General of Public Information and Communications Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies, Republic of Indonesia. There is also a preface by Prof H. Arief Rachman, Indonesian National Commission to UNESCO, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia.
The chapters that reflect presentations at the Global Media Forum include contributions by Naranjargal Khaskuu (Mongolia), Moez Chakchouk (Tunisia), Toby Mendel (Canada), Gwen Lister (Namibia), Maria Ressa (Philippines), and Uni Lubis (Indonesia).
Other contributions are by Prima Jesusa Quinsayas (Philippines), Edetaen Ojo (Nigeria), Ulla Carlsson (Sweden); Endy Bayuni (Indonesia), Harry Surjadi (Indonesia) and Lisa French (Australia).
These diverse views highlight how there are many kinds of media, ranging through community media, new media and social media, amongst others, and that there are many kinds of roles being played.
The contributions range from general analyses through to rich empirical case studies.
As a whole, the publication underlines the importance of press freedom if media is to actualize its full potential. A number of contributors also stress the value of investigative journalism, as well as journalism that is conflict-sensitive and gender-sensitive.
Empowering audiences, such as to be citizen journalists and to have Media and Information Literacy capacities, is a further theme in the publication. Also reflected are the issues raised about the safety of journalists and the problem that those who attack the media are doing so with impunity.
The publication resonates with the debates about media issues being reflected in the new Sustainable Development Goals currently being developed at the UN General Assembly.
It takes forward the “Bali Road Map”, which was the key outcome of the Global Media Forum, in advancing the case for mainstreaming media issues within thinking about development.
The concluding chapter states: “because media roles are so key to development, the Bali Road Map must continue as a living document into the future.”