Newsletter - Issue 9 (July/August 2014)

Greetings Colleagues,
As part of the information sharing mechanism under the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, we are issuing this newsletter every two months. Through this 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.


Human Rights Council Holds Panel Discussion on Safety of Journalists

From 10 to 27 June 2014, the 26th regular session of the Human Rights Council took place in Geneva, Switzerland. The Human Rights Council held a panel discussion on the safety of journalists to identify challenges and good practices. The aim of this meeting was to ensure the safety of journalists and to promote a better understanding of relevant international human rights norms and standards. Read more.

© UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

"Safety of Journalists Essential to Vibrant and Democratic Societies"

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stressed the need for protective measures for the press during the panel discussion on the safety of journalists held in Geneva last month. "The safety of journalists is quite simply essential to the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all of us, as well as to the right to development.", she declared, referring to the increasing rate of journalists' killings in recent years. Read more.


Regional Chapters of the World Trends Report Are Now Available

The UNESCO report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development debuted at the United Nations, New York (9 July) and Washington at a Capitol Hill Briefing (10 July). Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post moderated a panel of experts who explored the key elements of the report, focusing on the safety of journalists, media freedom and independence, pluralism and the gender perspective. The overarching trend observed throughout is one of disruption brought on by technology and to a lesser extent the global economic crisis, with mixed results for freedom of expression and media development. The publication comes at a critical moment for press freedom amid unprecedented opportunities for expression of new voices as well as new forms of restriction, surveillance and control. Consult the reports here.


UNDP Published a Guide on Media and Elections

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published a guidebook named Media and Elections – A Guide for Electoral Practitioners. This Guide aims to be a key point of reference for electoral practitioners such as electoral management bodies, independent broadcasting authorities and international assistance providers. The Guide, comprised of ten chapters, deals with some of the most important issues of media and communications during the electoral process. The Guide can be consulted here.


South Sudan journalists Trained on Monitoring and Documentation of Press Freedom Violation

Twenty media monitors from seven States in South Sudan received training in Juba from 3 to 6 June 2014 within the framework of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on Safety of journalists and issues of impunity. This training, which focused on monitoring and documenting press freedom violation, was organised by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), and supported by UNESCO, United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the International Media Support (IMS).



© Flickr/Y. Samoilov (CC)

UNESCO Will Launch Study on Safety of Journalists Using Digital Media

Concerned about the digital safety of journalists and emerging media actors, UNESCO will soon publish its study on safety of journalistic actors using digital media. This research aims to produce a qualitative picture of cases around the world linked to guaranteeing the digital safety of journalists. The study analyses the role of relevant stakeholders in the protection of digitally interfaced media actors, and also provides guidelines, good practices and policy recommendations on how to respect the right to freedom of expression in the digital environment.


Global Media Forum to be hosted in Indonesia

The Global Media Forum: The Role of Media in Realizing The Future We Want For All, which UNESCO will organize in co-operation with the Government of Indonesia from 26 to 28 of August 2014, aims to define the role of media in the development agenda that will continue the efforts of the Millennium Development Goals after the year 2015. The Forum will bring together media practitioners, associations, government officials, academics, civil society and youth representatives from around the world to discuss the role that media could play in shaping and implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Read more.


Third UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the UN Plan of Action will take place in Strasbourg

The third UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity will take place on 4 November 2014 in Strasbourg, France. Convened by UNESCO and co-hosted by the Council of Europe, this working meeting will review the first two years of implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and to chart the way forward. Underlining its multi-stakeholder approach, representatives from Member States, UN Agencies, international civil society groups, and media houses are expected to attend. On 3 November, there will a Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue on the Protection of Journalists.

© CC BY 3.0/Alfredovic

Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue on the Protection of Journalists in Strasbourg

On 3 November 2014 the Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue on the Protection of Journalists will be jointly organized by Council of Europe, UNESCO, Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield, and the European Lawyer's Union. Representatives from NGOs to intergovernmental organisations will examine the current legal standards of protection for journalists and discuss the course of action to improve the international framework for their safety and to eradicate impunity. The seminar will take place in the European Court of Human Rights Building in Strasbourg. One the following day, there will be the 3rd UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. For more information, please contact William Horsley.

© Reuters

Call for Journalists to Share Their Experiences for Swedish Handbook on Safety of Journalists

At a seminar on Safety of Journalists held on 6 May 2014 in Stockholm in connection with World Press Freedom Day, freelance journalist and author Martin Schibbye presented the idea to launch a practical handbook on how journalists can improve their safety when working in conflict zones and unsafe areas. Journalists interested in contributing to the handbook are encouraged to contact the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO by October 2014 the latest. The handbook will be launched on World Press Freedom Day 2015 in Stockholm. Read more.