World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


New Curbs on Free Expression Arise With New Technologies

New Curbs on Free Expression Have Surfaced With New Technologies – UN

New York, Mar 25 2014 - While technological progress and innovative business models have expanded opportunities for freedom expression, they have also allowed for new threats to emerge in the form of Internet censorship, filtering, blocking, and surveillance, warns the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Freedom of expression is essential to dignity, dialogue, democracy and sustainable development,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, appealing for renewed commitment to support press freedom at the launch of the report in Stockholm earlier today.

“We need to act on the ground – to strengthen national legislative frameworks, to train journalists, to build capacity and advance media and information literacy. We must continue to support media independence by promoting professional standards and self-regulation,” she said.

The report, World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, hails the opportunities that new technologies have opened up, empowering individuals through unprecedented ways to access, produce and share media content across multiple platforms.

But at the same time, UNESCO warns in a press release, “the increasing control of online content by Internet intermediaries, such as search engines and social media networks, threatens transparency in the free flow of information and raises concerns about the “privatization of censorship.”

According to the report, journalists and online media actors face new threats related to their safety in the digital sphere.

With a special focus on global media and the gender dimensions of press freedom, the study was spearheaded by UNESCO, in partnership with an advisory group of 27 international experts from civil society and academia and with the support of the Government of Sweden. It analyses trends in media freedom worldwide since 2007 from four angles: freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists.

The report reveals that despite the continued economic dominance of a handful of companies in both traditional and online media, the vast expansion of information sources and platforms has positively impacted media pluralism. Nonetheless, press freedom “lost momentum in some regions that have experienced political transitions,” and the laws meant to protect it have not always been effectively implemented, UNESCO warns, adding that “direct and self-censorship remain challenges to journalists worldwide.”

Furthermore, while new business models have facilitated the emergence of independent reporters, for example through non-profit investigative journalistic organizations, the report denounces that “State or public advertising continue to affect independent reporting.”

The study applauds the growing awareness of the importance of journalists’ safety throughout the world since 2007, due in large part to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

However, the number of journalist killings has continued to rise. According to UNESCO’s data, 430 journalists were killed between 2007 and 2012, including 23 women, who face rising forms of intimidation and abuse, including sexual assault. Although conflict zones remain the most dangerous places for journalists, between 2007 and 2011 more were killed outside of these areas, and impunity for these crimes remains the norm, the report notes.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Detroit: Impact Of Water Disconnections On Human Rights

GENEVA / NEW YORK (15 October 2015) – Two United Nations human rights experts will visit the city of Detroit (Michigan- USA) from 18 to 20 October 2014, to learn more about the impact of large-scale water disconnections on low-income, marginalized ... More>>

UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq
  • U.S Announces Humanitarian Assistance For Palestinians

    Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news