IN FOCUS ARTICLES - 2016
Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information visits Honduras and Mexico
This month, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue visited Honduras to promote Internet Universality Principles, and Mexico to present the Spanish translation of UNESCO’s global report on digital safety for journalism. On 12 August, Frank La Rue participated at the event on communications regulatory bodies in the Honduras capital Tegucigalpa, organized by ISOC and the Honduras National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL). Earlier this month, he presented the Spanish translation of the global report Building digital safety for journalism in Mexico.
UNESCO supports the development of pluralistic and independent media in Latin America
UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue attended an International Meeting of Parliamentarians held in Bogota, Colombia, last week. The meeting was co-organized by UNESCO’s Office in Quito in cooperation with local, regional and international partners under the theme: "Building an enabling environment for the development of pluralistic and independent media in Latin America". The International Meeting of Parliamentarians, which took place on 2 August, gathered parliamentarians (congressmen, congresswomen, senators) from the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Promoting freedom of expression and access to public information in Latin America
From 25 to 27 June, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue accompanied the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova in her mission to Paraguay and Uruguay to strengthen the cooperation in the area of freedom of expression, access to public information and safety of journalists. On 27 June, the Director-General of UNESCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay to carry out common initiatives related to freedom of expression, transparency and access to public information.
Changing the African narrative, training the journalists of tomorrow
Self-determined development requires self-representation. “Africa’s capacity to rewrite its own narrative depends in part on the capabilities of it writers. The media is society’s Fourth Estate. The activity of gathering, interpreting and presenting news or views may not in every context and at every time be welcome or appreciated, but the media remains a powerful and necessary force in society,” says Eliza Anyangwe, freelance journalist at CNN and The Guardian. In the framework of UNESCO’s continued support to freedom of expression and journalism education in Africa, the Pan-African Workshop for Professional Media Production was held from 19 October to 13 November at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise of Addis Ababa.
Colombian security forces trained on Freedom of Expression
An increasing number of journalists is being attacked and threatened in Colombia since the beginning of the nineties, with 232 attacks last year, according to la Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP). To put a halt on this worsening trend the Colombian organization FLIP has developed a training for security forces on freedom of expression, which is largely based on the training manual developed by UNESCO on Freedom of Expression for security forces. UNESCO talks with one of the initiators of this training, Jonathan Bock from FLIP, who also attended the “News Organizations Standing Up for the Safety of Media Professionals” conference on 5 February 2016 at UNESCO Headquarters.