In a series of publicity videos for World Press Freedom Day, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced the dates for the first Global Conference for Media Freedom on 10 – 11 July, in London.
In a statement released on his Twitter page this morning, Hunt urged: “If we believe in media freedom as one of the fundamental bastions of a free society then we need to stand up and talk about the dangers that journalists now face.”
The UK and Canadian government have announced a partnership, with Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs joining forces with the UK Foreign Secretary to create an international campaign.
In a statement released on the Foreign Office website, the conference aims to: “shine a global spotlight on media freedom and increase the cost to those that are attempting to restrict it. It will bring together global leaders and representatives from the media industry, journalists, civil society and academia.”
Launching their operation with statistics showcasing how 99 journalists were killed last year worldwide, the Foreign Secretary has launched a twitter campaign to exemplify the realities of the restrictions journalists face over the world.
Initiatives so far have included pledging 60 new scholarships for journalists across Africa, as part of their vision “Defend Media Freedom”.
However, the Society of Editors is hopeful the Foreign Office’s vision will also be able to answer ongoing questions of how press freedom is maintained in the UK.
Executive Director, Ian Murray, earlier today warned UK politicians to ensure they take action to put their words into practice: “All too often strong words in support of a free media are quickly forgotten when new laws on being considered to constrain what the public has a right to know.”
Read the Society’s full statement on Press Freedom Day here.
To read the Foreign Office’s press release on the conference, click here.