May 2, 2016 (GIN) – Journalism must take a lead in countering hate-speech and propaganda. That’s the message of the Ethical Journalism Network, a press freedom watchdog on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.
Adopted in 1993 by the UN General Assembly on the recommendation of UNESCO at their general conference, Press Freedom Day on May 3 serves as an occasion to inform citizens of the violations of press freedom.
It is a reminder that world publications and social media are censored, fined, suspended, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked and even killed worldwide.
This week, events will take place across Africa and around the world to demonstrate the survival of journalism and its important work.
“Journalists must be free to exercise their profession without a climate of fear and intimidation,” said Aidan White, director of the Ethical Journalism Network in a statement.
“Ethical values in media are not marginal to democracy, they are essential to confronting the crisis of self-censorship, propaganda and hateful communications which is emerging around the world.”
Aidan continued: “Everyone has the right to free speech, but that must not be abused by a lack of respect and intolerance of others.
In particular, the Ethical Journalism Network is calling for more action to eliminate misogyny and abuse of women in online communications.
On May 3, a panel discussion will take place at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Helsinki, Finland on how to identify and counter hate-speech without creating environments that result in the censorship of legitimate expression.
Among the speakers are Poni Alice JameKolok, a radio and TV journalist in South Sudan, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Namibia, editor and publisher. In addition to working with Ghana News Agency and the New Times Corporation, he worked on updated guidelines for journalists in “Fair and Equitable Reporting” for Ghana’s Media Commission in 2012.
Edetaen Ojo will represent Nigeria as the executive director of the Media Rights Agenda, the board of directors’ chair of the Media Foundation for West Africa, and other human rights groups.
Karabo Rajuili, a member of Right2know National Working Group of South Africa is another speaker, along with Gwen Lister, founder of The Namibian, and Sami Ben Gharbia, founding director of Global Voices Advocacy of Tunisia.
Americans taking part include the head of the International Center for Journalists, the director of the Global Access to Information Program of the Carter Center, and Neela Banerjee of Inside Climate News.

Posted by on May 11 2016. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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