Internet Governance Forum, Baku, 6-9 November 2012

Safety of online media actors: as a precondition for media pluralism and freedom of expression

Open Forum
Organised by EBU, CoE, OSCE & UNESCO

In cooperation with the governments of Austria, Netherlands and Sweden; IFJ, RSF and others

    Wednesday 7 November, 11.00h , Conference Room 4


    The development of new forms of media is rapid and there is a need to discuss and find solutions to a number of new issues. A major concern is the safety and protection of a variety of media professionals and media actors which go beyond the definitions of classical journalists. The forum will address issues relating to safety of on line media actors in countries in transition to democracy:

    ► What are the safety issues?
    ► Who needs to be protected and how?
    ► To what extent do existing international instruments, standards and best practices apply? And are they effectively implemented?
    ► Do professional rules and ethics of traditional media apply to non-traditional online media actors? If not, how do we protect the unprotected?
    ► What is the way forward? What can be done by states, civil society, the media industry and international organizations?

    The forum will also be framed by the following topics that are considered as essential pre-conditions to guarantee pluralism of the media in any country:

    Internet based media: differences, impact and special needs compared to traditional media.
    Positive obligations upon states to protect media professionals.
    Status of media professionals, citizen journalists, bloggers, etc.
    Status of foreign media professionals.
    Safety of media professionals, during elections, in times of crises, etc.
    Protection of sources.
    Means of protection against various forms of harassment.
    Respect of online anonymity.
    Ethics – regulation & self regulation.
    Education and training.

    In cooperation with:

Moderator: Mr Jonathan Charles, former BBC World News presenter and foreign correspondent. Now director of Communications at EBRD.

    Opening remarks:

    Mr Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe.
    Mr Jean Paul Philippot, President of EBU.
    Ms Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner and European Commission Vice President.

    Round-table 1: Internet based media and safety of journalists

    Key speakers:

    Mr Guy Berger, UNESCO’S Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development.
    Mr Eynulla Fatullayev, winner of the 2012 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

    Other discussants:

    Mr Jim Boumelha, President of International Federation of Journalists.
    Bill Echikson, Head of Free Expression, Google Europe,
    Mr Lionel Veer, Ambassador for Human Rights of The Netherlands.

    Round-table 2: Positive obligations of the states and supranational bodies to ensure safety of journalists

    Key speakers:

    Mr Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, United Nations.
    Ms Dunja Mijatovic, Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE

    Other discussants:

    Ms Sabine Verheyen, Member of European Parliament.
    Mr Johan Hallenborg, Deputy Director, Department for International Law, Human Rights and Treaty Law , Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Swedish government.

    Conclusions and the way forward:

    Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO
    Ms Dunja Mijatovic, Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE