Mittwoch, 18.10.2017 01:58 Uhr

Defending journalists under threat

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Leipzig, 05.10.2017, 10:21 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 2480x gelesen

Leipzig [ENA] ECPMF Conference “Defending journalists under threat - solidarity, support and safe houses” takes place today at the Leipzig School of Media on October 5th, 2017. The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) brings together journalists’ associations, publishing houses, academic institutions, trade unions and media rights experts to achieve the application of the European Charter on Freedom of the Press

throughout Europe. Founded in 2015, it is registered as European Cooperative Society and headquartered in Leipzig with partners and supporters in 16 countries. The ECPMF provides news, analyses and tools on media freedom issues, coordinates its member organisations' activities and helps individual journalists under threat, for example through a residence programme and petitions. Today, disinformation, now and then referred to as “false” or “fake news”, and propaganda pose many threats to democratic societies. “Fake news” aim at manipulating individuals and distorting public opinion including the open and frank exchange of ideas.

Freedom of expression as a human right includes a positive obligation of governments to safeguard freedom of the media, promoting and protecting different media. The human right to impart information and ideas is not reduced to statements deemed “correct” by authorities but extends to information and ideas that may shock, offend and disturb. Prosecution and threats to journalists and violations of media freedom are on the increase across Europe. The ECPMF's conference "Defending journalists under threat: solidarity, support and safe houses" wants to examine practical solutions for dealing with the many threats that media workers challenge today.

Media workers under threat, high-profile experts, politicians and representatives of support networks discuss in Leipzig various legal, practical and political tactics to improve the current situation.OSCE's new Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, will give an opening statement via video about the different threats journalists have to face and efforts been made and need to be made to tackle them.The Director of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Frane Maroevic, will then continue in person.

The Representative’s activities can be divided into two groups: observing media developments as part of an early warning function and helping participating States abide by their commitments to freedom of expression and free media. This includes efforts to ensure the safety of journalists; assist with the development of media pluralism; promote decriminalization of defamation; combat hate speech while preserving freedom of expression; provide expert opinions on media regulation and legislation; promote Internet freedom; and assist with the process of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Harlem Désir was appointed as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on 18 July 2017 for a period of three years. Harlem Désir was appointed as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on 18 July 2017 for a period of three years. Prior to this position, Désir was French Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, since April 2014.Harlem Désir was a Member of the European Parliament for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2014. He was a member of the Committee on Industry, Energy and Research, the Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Development.

He was also Vice-President of the Delegation for relations with the United States (2002-2004), member of the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly (2002-2009) and member of the Delegation for relations with India (2009-2014). Désir served as Vice-President of the Socialist Group of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009 and as First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 2012 to 2014. In October 1984, Harlem Désir co-founded the French not-for-profit association “SOS Racisme”, whose objective is to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination. In 1989, he also co-founded the international federation of “SOS Racisme”. Désir was President of both “SOS Racisme” France.

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