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UNESCO backs campaign for journalists

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London, July 27, 2021

from William Horsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative

Meera Salva

The just-released UNESCO paper on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Foreign Correspondents, was co-written by myself and the veteran foreign correspondent Meera Salva of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford.

It contains this urgent plea on behalf of the AEJ and the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield, of which I am international director.:

Threats faced by journalists who report across international borders represent an existential challenge to people’s right to live in free and democratic societies. State authorities, lawmakers, and civil society actors everywhere must ensure that breaches of international rules protecting the safety and work of journalists have real-life consequences. This is one of the most urgent tasks of our time.

The report includes sets of recommendations for concerned stakeholders such as news consumers and civil society, media organizations, and journalists, along with governments. These notably include provision of emergency visas for journalists at serious risk, prioritizing the implementation of international norms and standards, reviewing and revising national laws when necessary, removing restrictions on reporting and research seen as critical of governments, and collaborating with UN bodies and civil society to develop independent monitoring.

The report – download here – is an issue brief in the UNESCO Series on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development.

Other related UNESCO links:


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