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When media and politics merge, journalists become “the enemy”

The European Union claims it has understood that the demise of free and independent media spells the death of democracy. Europe, it’s said, has “learned the lessons” from being duped for years by Putin’s victim-blaming propaganda. For Europe’s major institutions journalists’ physical and legal safety is now a policy priority. An EU Media Freedom Act is in the pipeline. But is it already too late?

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The war in Ukraine is also a war for free speech

February 24 was a fateful day for world peace as President Putin staked his own and Russia’s future on an unprovoked military assault against the country’s neighbour and rejected the “rules-based international order” in the most public way possible. At a stroke he ensured Russia’s long-term isolation and completed Russia’s jagged journey into totalitarianism. That might in fact have been his goal as much as any territorial ambitions in Ukraine or beyond. For now at least, Putin has absolute control over the separate “Russian world” – “Russkiy Mir” — of his dreams.

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Call for Contributions: Academic Consultation on the UN Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists

2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the UN Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. This is a call for contributions to the first in a series of academic consultations on the anniversary of the UN Action Plan to be held as a hybrid event (at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and online), jointly co-organised by UNESCO, the Journalism Safety Research Network, the UNESCO Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity/Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield, the World of Journalism Study and the Centre for Digital Politics, Media and Democracy, University of Liverpool.

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Message from Mariupol: “Russian journalists, the blood of the dead is on your hands”

What responsibility should be borne by journalists who knowingly propagate lies which promote and enable the mass killing of civilians in war? That question came into stark relief when Anna Murlykina, a leading Mariupol-born journalist, gave chilling testimony from Ukraine at an online event hosted recently by the Council of Europe .

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Upcoming event: The Commonwealth and media freedom: Where do we stand?

On 27 April 2022 (12:30pm-2:00pm) the Institute of Commonwealth Studies will host the seminar “The Commonwealth and media freedom: Where do we stand?”. The seminar is arranged in collaboration with the Centre for Freedom of Media (CFOM) and focuses on Article V of the 2013 Commonwealth Charter which declares the commitment of all Commonwealth states to the values of freedom of expression.

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Political leadership is the only way to reverse the assault on press freedom in Commonwealth countries

The decisive moment for the countries concerned to grasp this nettle was to be a virtual meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers in March. Prominent on the draft agenda was formal consideration of the matter of adopting a set of principles on ‘media and good governance’, with freedom of expression, the role of the media and journalists’ safety at their core. But on 15 February the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) was abruptly informed that the ministers’ meeting is being postponed for at least six months.

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Call for papers for 2022 UNESCO WPFD Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists now open

UNESCO and a network of Uruguayan universities will host the seventh edition of the Academic Conference on the Safety of Journalists in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Academic Conference will take place within the framework of the 2022 global celebration of World Press Freedom Day, co-hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Uruguay on 2-4 May 2022.

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