Speakers

Guy Berger

Professor Guy Berger served as head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa) from 1994 to 2010. A former editor and political prisoner, he convened the first major conference on Freedom on Information in post-apartheid South Africa in 1995. More recently, he researched and edited the publication Media Legislation in Africa – a comparative legal survey, for UNESCO, in 2007. Berger describes himself as a media freedom activist, and has been deeply involved in the South African National Editors Forum since its inception in 1996. His last project was the staging of the 2nd World Journalism Education Congress in South Africa, 5-7 July 2010.

Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova is Director-General of UNESCO. A former Bulgarian ambassador to France and Monaco she was elected for four years in 2009. Other posts she has held include personal representative of the Bulgarian president to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and permanent delegate to UNESCO from 2005 to 2009. During her long and distinguished career, she also served as Bulgaria's representative to the United Nations and as her country's secretary of state for European integration and foreign minister. Born in 1952, she obtained an MBA from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and studied at the universities of Maryland and Harvard in the USA. Ms Bokova has long promoted the transition to European integration. As founder and chairperson of the European Policy Forum, she worked to overcome divisions in Europe and promote the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and rights.

Robert O. Boorstin

Bob Boorstin is a Director of Public Policy in the Washington D.C. office of Google, Inc., where his portfolio includes the company’s promotion of online free expression and other geopolitical issues.  Mr. Boorstin brings to Google more than twenty years experience in national security, political communications, public opinion research and journalism.  During the Clinton Administration, he served in the National Security Council and advised the Secretaries of Treasury and State.  Prior to coming to Google, he established and ran the national security programmes at the Center for American Progress, a leading Washington think tank. He has advised Fortune 500 companies and some of the nation’s leading advocacy groups, and worked on more than a dozen political campaigns in the U.S. and abroad.  Early in his career he was a reporter for The New York Times and other publications.  He holds degrees from Harvard College and King’s College, Cambridge University.

William Dutton

Professor William H. Dutton is Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, Professor of Internet Studies, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College. He was also Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. In the UK, he was a Fulbright Scholar 1986-87, and was National Director of the UK's Programme on Information and Communication Technologies (1993 -1996). He is Principal Investigator of the Oxford e-Social Science Project, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, and Principal Investigator of the Oxford Internet Surveys, a key resource on the use and impact of the Internet in Britain and one component of the World Internet Project, an international collaboration comprising over 20 nations. He is the author of a report commissioned by UNESCO: Freedom of Connection-Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet (forthcoming), among several publications.

Mónica González

Mónica González, a Chilean journalist, is the 2010 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Laureate, and in 2006 was also awarded the “Homage” Prize of the  Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (New Ibero-American  Journalism Foundation) directed by Gabriel García Márquez. She is founder and director of the Center of Journalism and Investigation (CIPER). She has worked as a correspondent for the Argentine newspaper Clarín since 1995.  Under the military dictatorship in Chile, she was a researcher for the magazines  Análisis and Cauce, and was twice imprisioned for her reporting in these media. Following the return to democratic rule in 1990, she worked in different Chilean media, until she founded and directed the magazine  Siete+7 and the newspaper Siete. She has received the María Moors Cabot Prize (2001), the Annual Prize from the Spanish Human Rights Commission (1985), the Journalism Prize from Harvard University (1987, Nieman Foundation) and the Dan David Prize from the University of Tel Aviv (2006). She has written several books, among them, Bomba en una calle de Palermo (“A Bomb in a street of Palermo”)(1986) and La conjura, los mil y un días del Golpe (“The conspiracy, the one thousand and one days of the coup”) (2000).

Jean-François Julliard

Born in Bordeaux, aged 37 and the father of two children, Jean-François Julliard studied cinema, broadcasting and journalism in Paris and has a Higher Specialised Studies Diploma in journalism techniques from the French Press Institute of the University of Paris 2.  He joined Reporters Without Borders as a member of the Asia desk in 1998 and was head of the Africa desk for several years before being appointed head of research in 2004 and deputy secretary-general in the spring of 2008. He played an active role in the campaign for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, participating in the protest at the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia. He was appointed Reporters Without Borders secretary-general on 28 September 2008.

Jānis Kārkliņš

Before assuming duties as UNESCO’s Assistant Director General of Communication and Information, Ambassador Kārkliņš was Latvian Ambassador to France, Andorra, Monaco and UNESCO, and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the UN in Geneva. During his stay in Geneva, he was First Vice-Chairman, and one year later Chairman of the Council of the International Organization for Migration. He held several elected posts in the World Intellectual Property Organization and UN Commission of Science and Technology for Development, and presided over the Group of Governmental Experts on Cluster Munitions within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. He was Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the Geneva Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and President of the Preparatory Committee of the Tunis Phase of WSIS.  Ambassador Kārkliņš represented Latvia in the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN and Chaired this Committee from 2007 until June 2010.  He was previously Under-secretary of State in Latvia and Counsellor in the Latvian Embassies in France and Finland. He has an engineering degree from the Riga Technical University (Latvia) and attended an Executive Education Program for Eastern European diplomats at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University (USA).

Frank La Rue

Frank La Rue is the United Nations´ Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Holder of a postgraduate degree in U.S. foreign policy from Johns Hopkins University, he has worked on human rights for the past 25 years. He is the founder of the Centre for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH) which became the first Guatemalan NGO to bring cases of human rights violations to the Inter-American System and to promote economic, social and cultural rights. As a human rights activist, his name was presented to the Nobel Peace Prize committee in 2004. He has previously served as a Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala, as a Human Rights Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, as President of the Governing Board of the Centro-American Institute of Social Democracy Studies and as a consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Birgitta Ohlsson

Birgitta Ohlsson is the Swedish Minister for EU Affairs since 2010 and Minister responsible for democracy and consumer issues within the Prime Minister’s Office. She holds a Master’s in Political Science from Stockholm University and previously completed the Humanities Programme at Katedralskolan, Linköping. Mrs. Ohlsson was a Member of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) between 2002 and 2010, taking part of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and serving as a foreign affairs spokesperson for the Liberal Party. From 1999 to 2002, she was Chair of the Liberal Youth Organization. She has also worked as an editorial writer for Sundsvalls Tidning, Vestmanlands Läns Tidning, Västerbottens-Kuriren and Dagens Nyheter (1997–1999). She was a Member of the Board of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (2002-2010), Chair of the Federation of Liberal Women (2007-2010) and Member of the National Board of the Liberal Party (2007). She was also Deputy Chair of the Sweden-Israel Society, Stockholm (2003-2005), Member of the board of the Swedish International Liberal Centre (2001), Vice Chair of Young European Federalists in Sweden (1998) and Chair of the Association of Liberal Students, Stockholm (1996-1998).

Omar Faruk Osman

Born and raised in Mogadishu, Somalia, Omar Faruk Osman started practising journalism in 1994 as a radio journalist in Mogadishu. In 2002, he was elected the Secretary-General of the then Somali Journalists Network (SOJON), which  under his leadership became an authoritative voice defending press freedom and media professionals’ rights in the war-ravaged horn of Africa country. He also spearheaded the process of transforming SOJON into a trade union movement in 2005, which is today the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). This transformation was supported by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). In 2007, he was elected to the international executive committee of the IFJ. In September 2007, he also became Secretary-General of the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA). In November 2008, he was appointed president of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), and was re-elected in March 2010. In May 2010, the IFJ’s World Congress appointed him again as a member of the Executive Committee. Omar Faruk is a leading press freedom activist and representative of journalists’ unions across eastern Africa and Africa as a whole, admired for his commitment and tireless initiatives to safeguard and represent journalists in areas often ignored by the mainstream media.

Rodney Pinder

Rodney Pinder is Director of the International News Safety Institute, created in 2003 and dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news media personnel working in dangerous areas. INSI operates as a network providing safety information and advice to journalists, with its website as its hub. It facilitates basic safety training free of charge for journalists and other news professionals, and has trained more than 1,600 news media staff and freelances in 21 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Amongst other initiatives, INSI undertook a global inquiry into the causes of journalist deaths and produced a report and recommendations for governments and the international community, and has also set up a kidnap/hostage help network. It also worked towards the UN Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1738 on the safety of journalists in conflict areas (2006). Pinder is a former senior foreign correspondent and news executive for Reuters. He retired in 2002 after four years as global Editor of Reuters Television News and 37 years covering international affairs in three hemispheres. He has a long experience of conflict reporting, including in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Southern and South Africa, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran and the Gulf.

Mats Ringborg

Prior to taking his duties as Swedish Ambassador to UNESCO and the OECD in 2007, H.E. Mr Ringborg had served as Swedish Ambassador to Norway since 2002. He also previously held the positions of Director General for Trade Policy and of Deputy Director General within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Before being appointed to these posts, he was first Counselor and later Minister for Economic Affairs at the Swedish Embassy in Washington. In 1981, he became Deputy Director General and Head of the Office for International Affairs within the Ministry of Industry, where he previously held the positions of Head of Section and First Secretary. He also served as attaché at the Swedish Delegation to the OECD (starting in 1975) and as an intern at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (1969). He was a member of the boards of the Swedish Trade Council (1989-1996) and of the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (1990-1996), as well and first Vice Chairman of the Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Board (1989-2002). He holds a Master of Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics (1969).

Nancy Roc

Born in Port au Prince, Nancy Roc has been a freelance journalist and international correspondent for 25 years for several Haitian and international radio and television stations (CNN World Report, NBC News CBC, BBC, TV5, Voice of America among others). Named Journalist of the Year in 1999, she started her own production company, Rocprodz. She has received numerous awards, including the Jean Dominique for Freedom of the Press prize awarded by UNESCO. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona (USA) and a Graduate Diploma in Studies Related to the Environment (ERE) from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). A writer as well as a committed journalist, she is the editor of three volumes of the Great Metropolis Records, bestsellers in her country. On 6 December 2008, she was named winner of the North South Scholarship of the Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ). Since the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, she decided to take action to help her country and founded Inca Productions Inc., a company specializing in event planning, which hosted the first Québec-Haiti Business Forum in October 2010.

Helge Rønning

Helge Rønning is a Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. He was a member of the Norwegian Government Commission for Freedom of Expression (1996 – 1997) and of the Public Service Broadcasting Council (1996 – 2004); as well as Chairman of the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers Association (NFFO) and of the Board of Kopinor, the Norwegian Reprographic Rights Organization. He undertook research in USA, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and authored several books and articles on media and communication, development and democracy; freedom of expression, culture and literary issues. Recent publications include “Broadcasting regulation vs. freedom of expression and editorial independence. A contradictory relationship?” (2007); “Systems of Control and Regulation. Copyright issues, digital divides and citzens' rights” (2008); Tv-nyhetenes verden (with Ragnar Waldahl & Michael Bruun Andersen) (2009); Changes and Challenges in African Media. I: The Power of Communication. Changes and Challenges in African Media (with Kristin Skare Orgeret) (2009); Freedom of Speech Abridged? Cultural, Legal and Philosophical Challenges (with Anine Kierulf) (2009); and “Tools for Democracy or for Surveillance? Reflections on the Rule of Law on the Internet” (2010).

Gayathry Venkiteswaran

Gayathry Venkiteswaran is Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, a network representing media freedom groups from four countries in the region. She previously served as Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing media freedom and people's access to information in Malaysia. She has worked as a journalist and has also taught journalism and media history in private colleges. She has an MA in International Relations from the Australian National University and a Bachelor in Mass Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Gordana Vilović

Gordana Vilović holds a political science doctorate and is associate professor at the Faculty of Political Science – Journalism Department, Zagreb University. She has authored and co-authored a number of books on media ethics, education of journalists and diversity reporting, as well as numerous expert and scientific essays on the media. She has participated in different forms of journalists’ professional education and training, in Croatia and other South-East European countries. From 2003 to 2008 she was engaged at the International Center for Education of Journalists (ICEJ) in Zagreb and was assistant professor at the Media and Society Culture (Journalism Department) of the University of Dubrovnik.

Elisabeth Witchel

Elisabeth Witchel began working at the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2001 as Journalist Assistance Program Coordinator. She also served as coordinator of the organization’s Global Campaign against Impunity in the murders of journalists, since its launch in 2007 and until 2009.  She has authored several reports for CPJ, including Getting away with Murder: Global Impunity Index in 2009 and 2010; CPJ’s Survey of Journalists in Exile in 2007 and 2008; Fixers on the Frontline and Zimbabwe’s Exiled Press. Witchel is now based in the United Kingdom and serves as CPJ’s Impunity Campaign Consultant. Prior to working at CPJ, Witchel worked at Grassroots Enterprise in San Francisco and reported from Seoul, Korea for The Korea Times and US News & World Report. She has a BA in history from Stanford University and an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Back to top