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World Press Freedom Day 2017

EU4Democracy campaign makes an impact

Brussels, May 2017 – World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed every year on 3 May. For WPFD 2017, Media4Democracy developed an advocacy package for use by EU Delegations worldwide and took part in the UNESCO WPFD conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The WPFD advocacy package assisted EU Delegations in using this global event to raise awareness about freedom of expression and press freedom. The package included background information, such as:

  • a briefing on the role of a free press in safeguarding freedom of expression and the right to information,
  • overviews of key issues,
  • a summary of key regional and emerging trends,
  • guides for possible activities and sources of additional information.

This year’s main celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2017 took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 1-4 May 2017 as part of UNESCO’s WPFD conference under the global theme of “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”. The focus for 2017 was on strengthening free, trustworthy journalism to enable the media to contribute effectively to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 — “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.

The relationships were explored between freedom of expression, justice for all and the rule of law, peace, and inclusiveness.

Hate speech

As part of the Jakarta events, the EU Delegation to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Indonesia, supported by Media4Democracy and together with UNESCO, organised a debate entitled “European and Indonesian Approaches in Curbing Fake News and Hate Speech Online: What Role for the Government and Industry?”

The debate addressed experiences and approaches to fighting online hate speech and fake news, while safeguarding freedom of expression. It focused on how much regulation is needed and the respective roles of the government and industry. EU representatives shared a success story — the recent adoption of a code of conduct to counter illegal hate speech online in cooperation with major IT providers.

Following initial discussions during International World Press Freedom Day events in Jakarta in May 2017, the EU Delegation to ASEAN and Indonesia requested further support from Media4Democracy in June to provide technical assistance for the design of a debate on hate speech to be held with universities.

Request the WPFD advocacy package