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World Press Freedom Day to Highlight the Contribution of Journalism to Sustainable Development

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© UNESCO

Critical Minds for Critical Times: The media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies is the theme of UNESCO’s main celebration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, 3 May. The event will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1 to 4 May.

Organized by the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian Press Council, the four-day conference has been designed to raise awareness of the importance of free and fact based journalism in promoting peace and justice, and supporting the efficiency, accountability and inclusiveness of institutions, in line with the 16th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.

The World Press Freedom Day celebration will be opened by JusufKalla, vice president of the Republic of Indonesia, and Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO.

On 3rdMay, MsBokovawill award the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Dawit Isaak, the imprisoned Eritrean-born journalist during a ceremony that will be hosted by Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia.  The award will be received by his daughter, Bethelem Isaak.

Sessions range from panels on Quality journalism: a public good for just, peaceful and inclusive societies; Media and information as a bulwark against hate speech, inclusiveness and gender equality, and violent extremism; Spotlight on investigative journalism: Perspectives from Southeast Asia and beyond. Parallel sessions include the impact of fake news on journalism, journalists’ safety and internet universality.

The Jakarta Declaration, expected to be adopted at the close of the event, will reflect the main concerns and principles expressed during the four-day conference.

Hong Kong Baptist University will host a conference about academic research into issues pertaining to the safety of journalists with participants from many countries.

Events will feature training sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions and are expected to draw more than 1,200 participants.

According to UNESCO, approximately 80 other Press Freedom events are being organized around the world this year.