18th October 2018
By Tom Law

Media Freedom Global Initiative 2018

London, 8 November 2018

The Association for International Broadcasting is developing with the support of Al Jazeera Media Network: a compact that will bring leading media organisations together to work collaboratively on the increasingly relevant issue of media freedom.

There will be a high-level meeting in London on 8 November 2018 to bring together senior executives in media companies to discuss, in a closed session, the pressing issue of media freedom and pressure on organisations and their employees (and in many cases their families).

It will be a forum to hear evidence, exchange information and explore the depth of the issue. According to the organisers:

We want to facilitate a forum to understand the collective trends and challenges that colleagues in other organisations are facing. It is clear that media freedom is one of the greatest challenges that the industry faces today. This is why the time is right for leaders within the media industry to come together to share knowledge and to develop a long-term collaboration that will enable media companies to speak with one voice and to apply consistent and concerted pressure on any authority that seeks to hinder the work of journalists and journalistic organisations.

It is only through collaboration that we can help to raise awareness and call out those who want to restrict our work. The initiative on 8 November will be a key step in sharing information in an effective and methodical way. It is intended that during the meeting, the leaders of organisations present will discuss and agree on a range of potential initiatives to combat attacks on media freedom.

It is intended that the meeting on 8 November will:

  • Hear evidence from key organisations who are involved in issues around censorship and media freedom;
  • Agree a Compact that those attending will commit to and sign, setting out an agreement between broadcasters on the need to protect media freedom and on working together to preserve media freedom globally;
  • Inaugurate a cross-industry Steering Group. This Group will bring together senior executives in broadcasters internationally to share information on challenges to broadcasters’ operations and to develop proactive approaches to issues as they arise;
  • Agree and develop a cross-industry awareness campaign using broadcasters’ airwaves to consistently highlight the need for media freedom.

The Ethical Journalism Network’s Director, Chris Elliott will take part in the event to provide critical insight into the issue of media freedom as it relates to the broadcasting industry, as well as the effects that current challenges are posing to the wider press and media. The EJN’s contribution will form part of a moderated scene-setting opening to the event, and to help inform the discussion as the event develops.