19. mai: Opening the space for media

19 MAY, 10-14 – LITTERATURHUSET, WERGELANDSVEIEN 29, 0167 OSLO

How do we make sure independent, critical media has space to operate during violent conflict and unstable, political transition? 

Join International Media Support and Norwegian PEN for two exciting debates with international and Norwegian experts discussing the role of media in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and what we can learn from other countries currently transitioning out of violent conflict and periods of instability.

EXPERT PANELISTS

PANEL I: UKRAINE-RUSSIA
Maxim Tucker, Ukraine correspondent, The Times, Newsweek
Timur Shafir, Moscow International Centre of Journalism 
Per Anders Johansen, Aftenposten
Antonina Cherevko, Ukraine Programme Manager, International Media Support 
Andrew Puddephat, Executive Director, Global Partners Digital

FREE LUNCH

PANEL II: MYANMAR, SRI LANKA, COLOMBIA
Ranga Kalansooriya, Asia Regional Advisor, IMS: Perspectives from post-conflict Sri Lanka
Esben Harboe, Programme Manager, IMS: Myanmar in transition: 
Roy Krövel, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences: Media and the peace process in Colombia
Ginna Morelo, President, Consejo de Redacción, Colombia

OPENING THE SPACE FOR MEDIA
As global tension continues to evolve between those who are committed to international rules and arrangements and those who reject them, so does the space for independent, critical voices and the exercise of fundamental rights. In many countries peaceful protests are being suppressed, and censorship and political control of the media are widespread. In the backward drift of freedom of expression in these environments, independent media and the ability of media to act as a fourth estate has been amongst the very first casualties. 

But there are also pockets of encouraging development; areas where democratic progress and societies based on the rule of law are gradually evolving; countries where the transition out of tumultuous, violent periods moves towards stability, citizen participation and an increasingly open space for the media and freedom of expression.

Join us at Litteraturhuset in Oslo on 19 May for two insightful debates with a selection of key experts on both Ukraine-Russia as well as countries emerging out of conflict and in the midst of political transition.

Open debate: Open the space for media

INVITATION: OPENING THE SPACE FOR MEDIA

PUBLIC DEBATE, 19 MAY 2015 FROM 10-14

LITTERATURHUSET, OSLO

Organised by International Media Support and Norsk PEN

As global tension continues to evolve between those who are committed to international rules and arrangements and those who reject them, so does the space for independent, critical voices and the exercise of fundamental rights. In many countries peaceful protests are being suppressed, and censorship and political control of the media are widespread. In the backward drift of freedom of expression in these environments, independent media and the ability of media to act as a fourth estate has been amongst the very first casualties. But there are also pockets of encouraging development; areas where democratic progress and societies based on the rule of law are gradually evolving; countries where the transition out of tumultuous, violent periods moves towards stability, citizen participation and an increasingly open space for the media and freedom of expression.

 

10-12: PANEL I: UKRAINE AND RUSSIA

What can we learn from how media and information is used by both Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing conflict? How may we put this knowledge to use as we seek to reverse the negative trends and support those who attempt to keep the space open?

Moderator: Biljana Tatomir, Deputy Director, International Media Support (IMS)

Panelists:

· Maxim Tucker, Ukraine correspondent, The Times, Newsweek

· Galina Timchenko, Editor-in-Chief, Meduza

· Per Anders Johansen, Aftenposten

· Antonina Cherevko, Ukraine Programme Manager, International Media Support

12-14: PANEL II: MYANMAR, COLOMBIA, SRI LANKA

What can we learn from countries transitioning out of violent conflict and periods of tumultuous political instability on how reforms of media and conditions for freedom of expression and access to information take place?

Moderator: Jesper Højberg, Executive Director, International Media Support (IMS)

Panelists:

· Ranga Kalansooriya, Asia Regional Advisor, International Media Support

· Esben Harboe, Myanmar Programme Manager, International Media Support

· Roy Krövel, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

· Andrew Puddephat, Executive Director, Global Partners Digital

 

RSVP: Monday 18 May to hege@norskpen.no

Åpen debatt 19. mai

Open the space for media

 

INVITATION: OPENING THE SPACE FOR MEDIA

PUBLIC DEBATE, 19 MAY 2015 FROM 10-14

KJELLEREN, LITTERATURHUSET, OSLO

Organised by International Media Support and Norsk PEN

As global tension continues to evolve between those who are committed to international rules and arrangements and those who reject them, so does the space for independent, critical voices and the exercise of fundamental rights. In many countries peaceful protests are being suppressed, and censorship and political control of the media are widespread. In the backward drift of freedom of expression in these environments, independent media and the ability of media to act as a fourth estate has been amongst the very first casualties. But there are also pockets of encouraging development; areas where democratic progress and societies based on the rule of law are gradually evolving; countries where the transition out of tumultuous, violent periods moves towards stability, citizen participation and an increasingly open space for the media and freedom of expression.

 

10-12: PANEL I: UKRAINE AND RUSSIA

What can we learn from how media and information is used by both Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing conflict? How may we put this knowledge to use as we seek to reverse the negative trends and support those who attempt to keep the space open?

Moderator: Biljana Tatomir, Deputy Director, International Media Support (IMS)

Panelists:

· Maxim Tucker, Ukraine correspondent, The Times, Newsweek

· Galina Timchenko, Editor-in-Chief, Meduza

· Per Anders Johansen, Aftenposten

· Antonina Cherevko, Ukraine Programme Manager, International Media Support

12-14: PANEL II: MYANMAR, COLOMBIA, SRI LANKA

What can we learn from countries transitioning out of violent conflict and periods of tumultuous political instability on how reforms of media and conditions for freedom of expression and access to information take place?

Moderator: Jesper Højberg, Executive Director, International Media Support (IMS)

Panelists:

· Ranga Kalansooriya, Asia Regional Advisor, International Media Support

· Esben Harboe, Myanmar Programme Manager, International Media Support

· Roy Krövel, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

· Andrew Puddephat, Executive Director, Global Partners Digital

Tea/coffe and lunch will be served.

RSVP: Monday 18 May to carlmorten@norskpen.no

Tunisia needs a media worthy of its inspiring election

Tuesday’s expected declaration of Tunisia’s election results will say much about the main players in its great adventure in democracy building. It won’t reveal much about what those players plan to do with with their unique mandate. For that you’ll need an independent Tunisian media, in print, on air and online.

In turn that means a new legal and institutional framework on freedom of expression, swifter development of the broadcast and print media sectors and protections for the the Internet against the resurgence of censorship.

Tunisia’s Sunday elections will establish a 217 member constituent assembly to draft a new constitution and give legitimacy to an interim government ahead of full parliamentary elections.

The extraordinary turnout, an astounding estimated 90%, gives both authority and diversity to the new assembly. It increases the chances that the assembly will allow space for women, rural and inland industrial communities and a proportional voice for minorities – a priority of the Ben Achour Commission that led the election’s organisation.

It also finally gives some kind of true measure to Islamist political influence and brings members of the old regime still in politics out of the shadows.

The stage is set for a complex debate that will test the Tunisian media and its capacity to communicate the works of the new assembly. But despite solid efforts by the country’s post-revolution National Authority to Reform Information and Communication (INRIC) – the media landscape evolution has been slow.

To meet the challenge the new assembly must promote strong constitutional and legal guarantees for freedom of expression rights and access to information. There will need to be a properly supported successor to INRIC, an independent regulatory body that can effectively promote the independence and growth of the media.

The new body and the regulations that it implements will have to guide public service broadcasting as well as private, commercial and community broadcasting and empower and protect journalists dedicated to quality journalism that can serve and inform the public at large.

These points were raised this month by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Tunisia Monitoring Group (IFEX-TMG), currently chaired by Index on Censorship.

Based on the results of a two-day strategy workshop of Tunisian media and legal experts held in Tunis on 27 and 28 September, its report also calls for the promotion of a digital culture, by supporting blogging, online activism and citizen journalism.

It’s not clear how the assembly will handle new legislation, or how it will deal with current draft decrees that will have force of law but in the case of the print and broadcast sector have proven highly contentious in their drafting.

An increasingly heated debate between Islamists and secularists in Tunisia led to a street protest by thousands of liberal demonstrators the week before the vote. On 9 October over 300 pro-Islamists tried to attack the HQ of Nessma TV after a showing of the film Persepolis, which takes an acerbic view of Islamists in Iran.

That was followed by the filing of a claim signed by 144 lawyers alleging breaches of the still valid pre-revolution media law by Nessma TV head Nabil Karoui and articles 226 and 226 (b) of the criminal code prohibiting offences against religion and public decency.

Sami Ben Abdallah, a Tunisian blogger resident in France, was banned from leaving Tunis airport in September and questioned for allegedly sending insulting SMS messages. His family told Reporters sans Frontieres they linked the harrassment to his investigations into a businessman close to the former regime.

These and other incidents suggest that the rights of the independent media in Tunisia is built on much less stable foundations than its citizens expect and demand, especially given its responsibilities in the months to come.

From TMG-chair Rohan Jayasekera´s blog.