Behind the scenes, proponents of freedom of expression are working to ensure that independent media is for the first time a priority in the global development goals set by the UN and its member states. As part of that push, last week more than 300 representatives from media NGOs, journalist unions and associations, civil society groups, governments, and international agencies gathered for The Bali Media Forum organized by UNESCO. The three-day meeting, on August 26-28 in Bali, Indonesia, ended with a clarion call to make access to information and free media a development priority.
There’s no shortage of challenges facing investigative journalists. Worldwide, our colleagues are beset by lawsuits, threats, lack of resources, and unsupportive bosses. So it’s good news when important voices like those of the United Nations endorse our work. In the closing months of 2013, the UN passed two important measures in support of both journalist safety and investigative reporting. Journalists should take notice, particularly in places where the rule of law is weak.
On December 18, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
Join us today in honoring World Press Freedom Day and lend your support to free and independent media around the world. This year, the annual event focuses on the theme of “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.” As part of that, UNESCO has released an infographic on the dangers of being a journalist in a culture of impunity. Each week, on average, a journalist dies while doing his or her job. Yet, over the past 10 years, only 1 in 10 cases of crimes against journalists, media workers, and online producers has led to a conviction. Join GIJN by supporting World Press Freedom Day — there are events worldwide you can find by checking this collaborative map.