“New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies” (in observance of World Press Freedom Day)
What was the main topic of this Briefing?
This briefing was held in observance of World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd, a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; reflects and evaluates press freedom around the world, and is dedicated to defending the media from attacks on their independence. The Day also pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession and serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom, reminding them that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed attacked, detained and even murdered. The panelists focused on the state of press freedom in the world, and the new voices emerging via social media. They also discussed the role that use of this new media and citizen journalists are playing in transforming societies.
Who were the contributors to the commemoration ceremony?
• Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
• H.E. Mr. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland,
• H.E. Ambassador Mutlaq Al-Qahtani, Chef de Cabinet of the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
• H.E. Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri-Bilbao, the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations, and current Chairperson for the Committee on Information.
• Mr. Maher Nasser, Acting Head of DPI and Director of the Outreach Division in the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the United Nations in New York.
• Mr. Mogens Schmidt, Director of the Bureau of Field Coordination (BFC) at UNESCO.
• Mr. GiampaoloPioli, United States special correspondent and United Nations Bureau Chief for the Italian newspaper, QuotidianoNazionale.
Who were the Panellists?
• Ms. DelphineHalgand, Director of Reporters Without Borders’ Washington D.C. office.
• Mr. Ian Bassin, General Counsel and Campaign Director at Avaaz.org.
• Ms. Amy Goodman, award-winning journalist, author and host of Democracy Now!
• Mr. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, journalist, social-media “addict”, producer and host for the Huffington Post Streaming Network.
This Briefing was attended by127 NGO representatives. A question and answer period followed the panel discussion. Please find below the statements and the PowerPoint presentation of our panellists.