Newsletter - Issue 1 (February/March 2013)

Greetings Colleagues,
This is the first newsletter to be issued as part of the information sharing mechanism under the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. Through this bimonthly newsletter, we share with you information on the implementation of the UN Plan of Action. It includes development from the first-phase countries (Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, and South Sudan), various ongoing and upcoming initiatives that could contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the UN Plan of Action. We invite you to submit relevant information concerning your initiative that would contribute to the UN Plan.


World Press Freedom Day 2013 focuses on Safety of Journalists, Impunity, & Safety Online

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. Costa Rica will host the main event from 2 to 4 May in the city of San Jose. Responding to this overall context of press freedom, WPFD 2013 focuses on the theme of “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” and puts the spotlight in particular on the issues of safety of journalists, combating impunity for crimes against freedom of expression, and securing a free and open Internet as the precondition for safety online. Read more.

Digital Safety of Journalists Analysed in WSIS+10

A session on the Digital Safety of Journalists was held in the context of the WSIS+10 conference which took place from 25-27 February 2013 in UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. The session focused on challenges linked to journalists, bloggers, citizen journalists and others using digital media to produce news. It analysed the role of governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the media and other private sector actors and mapped the current state of knowledge in order identify areas of research for a forthcoming UNESCO study on the digital safety of journalists and human rights activists.

© UN Photo/Tim McKulka

South Sudan to be ‘First-Phase Country’ for New UN Initiative protecting journalists

South Sudan will be the first State to adopt a new United Nations-backed initiative aimed at creating a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, the UN envoy to the country has announced. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson, applauded the Government’s decision to implement the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity as a step forward in the right direction towards greater protection of media workers in the country. Read more.


Crimes and Unpunishment: New Publication Relates Killings of Filipino Journalists

The UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) have launched Crimes and Unpunishment: The Killing of Filipino Journalists, which documents the major crimes against journalists since 1986, the year when democracy was restored to the Philippines after years of authoritarian rule. Read more.

© UNESCO/Daniel Deloit

UNESCO Partners with Tunisian Ministry of the Interior to Improve Safety of Journalists

In the context of support for institutional reforms in Tunisia undertaken by the United Nations, UNESCO and the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior began a cooperation programme in January 2013 aimed at training security forces on human rights, freedom of expression and safety of journalists.

UN Secretary-General's video message for A Day Without News?

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's message in support of A Day Without News campaign on 22 February 2013 and the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The Security Council Expresses Deep Concern About Acts of Violence against Journalists

The Security Council expresses deep concern about acts of violence against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflict, in particular deliberate attacks in violation of international humanitarian law, and calls upon all parties to armed conflict to put an end to such practice. The Security Council recalls in this regard that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians. Read more.



International Conference on Safety and Security of Journalists in Pakistan

Organized by Open Society Foundations, Intermedia Pakistan, International Media Support (IMS) and UNESCO Date: March 6 and 7, 2013 Location: Marriott Hotel - Islamabad, Pakistan

Safety of Women Journalists

During the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women Date: 6 March 2013 (10:00-11:15) Location: UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 Click here to go to the webpage.

New Research: In-depth Research on the Situation of Women Journalists

UNESCO, with the financial support of Austria, is collaborating with International News Safety Institute (INSI) in a new in-depth research concerning the worldwide situation of women journalists who are faced with increasing dangers, including in cyberspace. The study will elaborate on what it means to have a gender-sensitive approach to the safety of journalists, and will also offer a series of recommendations. For more information, please contact Ms Hannah Storm.

New Research: Identifying Good Practices that Promotes Safety of Journalists

Sharing information of good practices has been identified as one of the actions that will contribute to the objectives of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. In this regard, UNESCO, OHCHR, and International News Safety Institute (INSI) have begun to make a systematic research into good practices that promotes safety of journalists and replicable to different parts of the world. For more information, please contact Ms Hannah Storm.

New Research: New Journalism Curricula on Safety of Journalists

University of Sheffield's Department of Journalism Studies and Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) are currently working with UNESCO to help develop journalism curricula for both undergraduate and postgraduate students that will include teaching and training on the safety of journalists. As part of the research is a mapping exercise of UK and overseas universities to discover which offer journalism safety as part of their curriculum. For more information, please contact Professor Jackie Harrison.