World Press Freedom Day is celebrated in all corners of the world. UNESCO's regional offices often in co-operation with other International Organisations, Non-governmental Organisations and local structures organise events for this important day based on their regional context. Selected activities organised by regional UNESCO offices or regional partners are listed below.
UNESCO Accra Office
For World Press Freedom day 2004, UNESCO will provide support to the newly created National Advocacy Committee on Broadcasting of Ghana to:
1) organize a peaceful demonstration seeking a public statement from the government that would lead to the country's ratification of the Africa Charter on
Broadcasting as adopted in 2001 at Windhoek aiming for the ratification of the charter by the end of the year.
2) Make a public launch of the Advocacy Committee comprised of the Ghana Community Radio Network, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, the Ghana Journalists Association, and the Media Foundation of West Africa. The aim of this launching is the creation of self regulating mechanisms for media and increased transparency in the processing of media licenses (especially for community radios).
UNESCO Beirut Office
A Press Conference will be held at the Press Union to celebrate the event. A Conference will also be organised with speakers addressing ‘freedom of the press’ as well as ‘freedom of expression for a democratic society promoting Human Rights’
A competition will be held awarding media that is not widely read heard and seen in the categories of Written Media and Audio and Visual media that promote human rights and democracy within the community. The target group includes community newspapers magazines, newsletters, publications written by student associations, Unions, research centres etcetera. The winners will be evaluated on their contribution to world press freedom over a period of time. by a jury consisting of representatives s from the Ministry of Information, the Press Union, The Union of Journalists, the National Council for Audio-Visual Media, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNESCO.
Activities in Central Asia
The Message of UNESCO’s Director General Mr Koichiro Matsuura
will be translated and distributed to local media across Central Asia.
Activities in Germany
The Media City Leipzig will organise the 'Leipzig Roundtable on World Press Freedom,'celebrating the tenth anniversary of this event which was first organised in 1995 by UNESCO and the National Commission of Germany to UNESCO.
The subject of this year's roundtable will be 'Freedom of Information Act: A Civil Right in the Information Society.' Speakers will include representatives from Transparency International, the German Union of Journalists (DJV) and Nezwerk Recherche. The event will take place on 3 May in the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum in Leipzig.
UNESCO Jakarta Office
(Activities will take place on 5 May 2004 since 3 May is a public holiday in Indonesia )
The Jakarta Office will organise a conference aimed at debating the recent dilemmas and discussions that have emerged in Indonesia regarding opinions within government that uphold the view that the New Press Law of 1999 should be reviewed. This includes the status of the Press Council which under the 1999 Press Law was established as an independent council to mediate between the public and the press.
The ultimate objective of the conference will be to find an appropriate solution that can be agreed by all the main stakeholders involved.
Resolutions or recommendations will result from the Conference, and the proceeding of the event will be published.
Panels will consist of:
- Mr. Bagir Manan, The Head of Supreme Court
- General Dai Bachtiar, The National Police Chief
- Mr. Nono Anwar Makarim, former journalist, and legal expert
- Mr. Syamsul Muarif, Minister of Communication and Information
- Mr. Yunus Yosfiah, Former Minister of Information,
Moderator: Someone from the Press Council
Participants will include members the press, members of parliament, academics plaintiffs against the press, or their lawyers.
UNESCO Kingston Office
UNESCO will organise events in co-operation with the Commonwealth Journalists’ Association (CJA). Activities will include:
- Exhibition on freedom of the Press in the Caribbean and wider Commonwealth with a career guidance component for high school students and young people in the community
- The inauguration of the CJA headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago
- CJA/UNESCO Symposium on Freedom of Expression and Conflict Management in Crisis Situations
- Launch of Commonwealth Journalism Review quarterly magazine
- National Journalism Week: Focus on journalism in Trinidad and Tobago
Presentation of the findings of a Survey of the News Services in the Caribbean which aims to analyse the structure and functioning of different categories of news providers with a view to improving Newsroom Management systems and editorial structures for editorial staff, developing training programmes for editorial staff, implementing career guidance programmes to attract graduates to journalism, designing effective screening procedures in the selection of Editorial staff.
Activities in Liberia
The Press Union of Liberia will organise celebrations which will take place in numerous venues in Monrovia focussed on the central theme ‘The Media and the DDRR Process: the Way forward’ The main aim of these events is to look back critically at the activities of the press and to see how the Liberian press can impact and promote democratic tenets in Liberia, especially as general and presidential elections are slated for 2005. Issues discussed will include the difficulties journalists go through in the search and fight for free expression. The aim is to establish a common agenda to foster press freedom.
UNESCO Nairobi Office
UNESCO Nairobi Office will hold a Conference on May 3 dedicated to the Protection of journalists in conflict and post-conflict situations aiming to make future recommendations on how to better protect journalist working in these conditions. Issues discussed will be:
- Experiences from the region (views on issues and dangers
- Protection and Safety of Journalists
- Training of Journalists on safety measures
- Ethical Issues in reporting on conflicts (re first draft programme, attached).
Media owners managing directors, editors, UN specialised agencies, journalists as well as professional institutions particularly concerned will be invited from Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda.
Activities in Nepal
Programmes to highlight the importance of media in conflict situations will be organised by the Nepal Press Institute in three regional centres of the country: Biratnagar, Butwal and Nepalgunj.
Special radio programmes will also be produced and distributed to over 20 radio stations throughout the country using various community media networks. Programmes will feature a discussion by a panel of leading media and political figures alongside testimonials from conflict affected areas of the country, as well as a specially produced public message for World Press Freedom Day.
The Message of UNESCO’s Director General, Mr Koichiro Matsuura will be translated and distributed to local media. A background paper and programme of World Press Freedom Day events will be released to the local media.
Activities in the Pacific
Programmes will be organised by media councils in five countries in the Pacific: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa. The Media Councils are all members of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).
PINA is the main professional association of the Pacific Islands news media. It links radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, online services, national associations of news media practitioners and journalism schools in 21 Pacific Island countries and territories.
Each media council will organise a half to full day events on the theme of ‘Managing Conflict’.
In Fiji because of the public holiday on May 3, World Press Freedom Day will be celebrated on Tuesday the 4th of May.
The main event will be held at the Regional University of the South Pacific (USP). The discussed will be ‘The Media's Role in Supporting Nation Building and Managing Conflicts’.
The panelists include:
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Information, Mrs Emi Rabukawaqa
- CEO of Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Francis Herman.
- Public Member on the Fiji Media Council, Mr Dijendra Singh
- Lecturer USP School of Journalism, Mr Steve Sharp
The main event of the programme will feature the launch of Fiji Media Councils "Media Freedom Charter". The launch will be done by the special Keynote Speaker, Professor Ken McKinnon, Chairman of the Australian Press Council. In the Solomon Islands the Media Association of the Solomon Islands- MASI will organise several events. The highlight of the day will be a speech/oratory contest for school children on World Press Freedom Day. This will bring together secondary and primary school children to compete for prizes, but its aim is to educate children on press freedom. There will also be an open forum on freedom of the media certain in which experts will be invited to speak Media organizations will be given a stall in the cultural village where they will do their business for the day in the area. All radio stations are expected to set-up booths in the area and will broadcast from there. In Papua New Guinea the PNG Media Council will hold celebration events for World Press Freedom Day that will go on for a week. These events will be organised in co-operation with the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby and also the Divine Word University in Madang. The Celebration will be held in Port Moresby. The programme includes a Public Forum on the UNESCO theme of ‘Support to Media in Violent Conflict and in Countries in Transition.’ Another key event will be a two-day workshop on HIV & AIDS with the National AIDS Council. At the end of the workshop, the organisers aim to produce a draft Manual for Journalists on "Reporting on HIV & AIDS". The week will culminate with a Media Awards Event, whereby media personnel will be given awards by various Government Departments on the best news coverage. In Tonga The Tonga Media Council will host a special Forum at the Dateline Hotel. This will include a keynote address by the Ministry of Justice followed by a discussion. One hundred guests have been invited. The event will be followed by a reception. UNESCO Phnom Penh Office To celebrate the World Press Freedom Day 2004, the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh has translated into Khmer the message of UNESCO’s Director General Mr. Koichiro Matsuura and distributed among the local media. In collaboration with the Cambodian Communication Institute UNESCO in Phnom Penh will organise a roundtable discussion, entitled 'Reflections on World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2004' which will take place on the 12 of May. This event will gather the journalist associations in Cambodia together with representatives from the government, the donor community and the NGOs to analyse the situation of the Cambodian Media in relation to freedom of expression. The panel will be open to the public and broadcasted on TV and radio after the event. Activities in Romania The Centre for Independent Journalism Romania (cji) will organise various events dedicated to freedom of expression the week of April 28 to May 3. Events will range from street shows, seminars, concerts and a traditional ball dedicated to freedom of expression. Meetings with students and famous media people will take place, films related to freedom of speech will be shown every evening free of charge, As well as shows and concerts. . On May 1, a meeting dedicated to self-regulation is organised in which the Convention of the Media Organisations will participate. At the traditional ball, awards will be given to the most courageous journalists and politicians of Romania. On May 2 a fair entitled 'meet the journalists’ will take place in downtown Bucharest. In the evening a street concert of two hip-hop and rock groups who have been subject to censorship will perform. On May 3, a list of recommendations regarding legislation for freedom of the press will be handed to the parliament.