UNESCO’s IPDC is key to safety of journalists

The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is highlighted by recent attacks on journalists, was the message delivered by UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General, Getachew Engida, during the 59th session of the IPDC Bureau, which opened this morning in Paris, France.

He noted that IPDC was a vehicle to share international experiences in the safety of journalists, highlighting lessons that “are no longer distant to Western Europe – such as protection systems for journalists, training of trainers to optimize capacity-building efforts, and support for journalists suffering from trauma.”

Mr Engida added: “the safety of journalists is truly a global effort, and the IPDC’s support for activities in one part of the world can increasingly be of help elsewhere.”

In echoing Engida’s remarks, IPDC Chairperson, Albana Shala, further highlighted IPDC’s role in advocating for journalists' safety online and offline, adding that ‘killings of journalists, if unpunished, tend to make checks on power impossible’.

These IPDC concerns about journalistic safety and other aspects of media development were subsequently taken up in an analytical summary of projects supported by the IPDC over the 2013-2014 period.

In presenting the report, Fackson Banda, a programme specialist responsible for an IPDC initiative called Knowledge-Driven Media Development, pointed out that a significant number of projects supported by IPDC were relevant to the issues.

The IPDC Bureau is currently meeting to examine almost 100 project proposals submitted from all over the world as part of its drive to improve the media condition in terms of freedom of expression, capacity development for journalists and technological innovation.