Left Menu
Development News Edition

UNESCO participates in International Association of Press Clubs

Berger cited a UNESCO study that states the democratic role of media is key to good governance and accountability.


UNESCO participates in International Association of Press Clubs
Goal 16 shows the importance of good governance as a key factor in efforts towards sustainable development, says Berger. (Image Credit: UNESCO)

"Organize dialogues on contemporary key issues," was UNESCO's message to delegates from some 40 countries attending the general assembly of the International Association of Press Clubs that took place on Friday 1 June 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

"Through organizing debates with governments, advertisers and media owners, press clubs can convince them to recognize the contribution that journalism can make to good governance and sustainable development," said Guy Berger, UNESCO's director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development.

He spoke on a panel titled, "The role of media and business in advancing Good Governance," along with Ernest Sagaga of the International Federation of Journalists, Ugandan broadcast journalist Flavia Tumusiime, and Shada Islam of Friends of Europe. It was chaired by Erisa Zykaj, correspondent of ABC News.

Berger cited a UNESCO study that states the democratic role of media is key to good governance and accountability, noting that this a role is often thwarted in varying extents.

"Press clubs can be a site for dialogue and debate to promote understanding and action towards free, pluralistic and independent media, as well as safety for journalists," he said.

"The rule of law is key to good governance, and we have to convince everyone that it is a sign of no rule of law more broadly when attacks on journalists go unpunished. Impunity for these attacks means there is no security or predictability for anyone, including investors," said the UNESCO director.

He urged press clubs worldwide to commemorate the UN-recognised International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists each 2 November.

Flavia Tumusiime told of a woman colleague who had withdrawn from journalism after being abducted and beaten. "What does that say to me as a colleague who used to sit next to her? What does it say to the public that she was taken, beaten and is not on air anymore?"

Shada Islam told the meeting that it was not a coincidence that populist figures around the world were describing media as a public enemy, but said that some media platforms had given undue publicity enabling these elements to come to power and by fueling hatemongering.

In his remarks, Berger also put emphasis on press clubs observing UNESCO's International Day for Universal Access to Information, held each 28 September.

"This Day dovetails with the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs," he said. He pointed specifically to SDG 16 which highlights the objective of societies achieving peace, justice and strong institutions, and the related target of "public access to information and fundamental freedoms".

"Goal 16 shows the importance of good governance as a key factor in efforts towards sustainable development, as well as points us to the role that of a free press in making information available to the public," said Berger.

"Every country has agreed on these SDGs, and press clubs should dialogue with governments about what they are doing to make progress on sustainable development including how they treat SDG 16.10."

"Just as a court case without facts cannot make a fair judgement, so dialogue can make the point that everyone needs journalism if they want to have verifiable information in the public interest.

"In the face of what some people today call 'information disorder', press clubs can point out that independent and professionalism journalism is a defence against rumour and disinformation," Berger stated. He also called for press clubs to engage public relations practitioners in order to promote ethics in the face of an industry that had emerged to distribute disinformation.

During the debate, Ernest Sagaga highlighted as threat to good governance the problem of "fake news" which he described as information that is not true and is designed to mislead and confuse.

Berger said that discussions with media owners and advertisers were needed to convince these stakeholders that respecting editorial independence is key to credibility and the only route to news media gaining trust, respect, influence and business success. He referenced related work that UNESCO does in South East Europe and Turkey.

Supported by the European Commission, the event was organized by Laurent Brihay, Executive Director of the Press Club Brussels Europe, which holds the Presidency of the International Association Press Clubs.

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

Red Sox place Pedroia (knee) on 60-day IL

The Boston Red Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list on Sunday, thwarting the former Most Valuable Players most recent attempt to come back from a knee injury. In a corresponding move, the Red Sox claimed right...

Rockets look to continue surge vs. Knicks

The sample size is small, but in their first two games since the All-Star break, the Houston Rockets appear to be clicking at full force. While posting double-digit wins over the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz, both on the road, the Ro...

Soccer-Rodrygo to miss 'Clasico' for overzealous celebration in reserve game

Real Madrids plan to give Brazilian Rodrygo Goes some extra playing time in the reserves backfired badly after the forward was sent off on Sunday following an overzealous celebration and is now suspended from next weeks Clasico against Barc...

Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari brought to Bengaluru from Senegal via France by Air France flight: Sources.

Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari brought to Bengaluru from Senegal via France by Air France flight Sources....

Give Feedback