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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The role of media as a catalyst for social and political change.

World Press Freedom Day celebrates the power of the media to bring about social and political change


UNESCO will celebrate World Press Freedom Day (3 May) in Tunis this year, with a packed three-day programme of events focused on the role of media as a catalyst for social and political change.
One of the highlights of World Press Freedom Day 2012 will be the award ceremony on 3 May for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. This year’s laureate, Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist Eynulla Fatullayev, will attend the ceremony. Addresses will also be made by with the President of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki, and the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova.
            On the morning of 4 May, the Director-General and the Prime Minister of Tunisia Hamed Jebali will open an international conference on the theme of  “New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies” .

The conference will divided into three debates, held over 4 and 5 May:

Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies: New Voices, Youth, and Social Media will look at how the convergence of social media, mobile connections and satellite television has generated growth in freedom of expression. This in turn unleashed the protest movement that began in Tunisia in December in 2010 before spreading through much of the Arab world and beyond.
            The Reshaping of the Media Landscape in aTransitional Environment is the subject of the second session. It will focus on the changes experienced by government-owned media and their ability to become public service operators that meet high journalistic standards in a self-regulating environment.
            Finally, a Special Plenary Session on Tunisia will examine the way forward for the media in the country. Participants will include  the Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Samir Dilou and international participants such as Abdelkrim Hizaoui, Director of the Centre africain de perfectionnement des journalistes et des communicateurs.
            For the first time, this year’s World Press Freedom Day event also includes a number of side events, organised by UNESCO’s press freedom partners, including non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, international media outlets and youth groups. Information about  these events is available online.
Journalists wishing to cover the conference and linked activities are invited to register here.
World Press Freedom Day   programme

Media contacts
In Tunis: Mehdi Benchelah - m.benchelah(at)
In Paris: Roni Amelan – r.amelam(at); +33 1 4568 1706

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