Date of Meeting: 03 May 2018

Meeting Organizer: UN Department of Public Information, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Permanent of Mission Lithuania, Protection of Journalists

ISJC Staff Present: Major Victoria Edmonds

Reporter: Major Victoria Edmonds

Which SDG does this topic cover? 4, 5, 8, 16

Type of meeting: Informational

Brief summary of presentation of information made

The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2018 highlighted the importance of ensuring that societies possess legal guarantees for press freedom and an independent judiciary that duly prosecutes crimes against journalists.

The discussion examined how guaranteeing freedom of the press means guaranteeing the safety of journalists and all those who work in the field of media. 

This meeting was held so that people are aware of the Freedom of the Press. Some of the issues discussed in this presentation were that journalism is crucial for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies, which is mentioned in SDG 16. 

It was emphasized that recent political, technological and economic transformations have placed new strains on press.

Journalists working internationally frequently rely on fixers, interpreters and others acting as intermediaries between the foreign journalists and their sources at the national and local levels, including other freelance journalists and media workers, contacts in government, armed groups, non-state actors and others. News media companies, especially those reporting on conflict situations, corruption or organized crimes, rely heavily on the work of freelance journalists and photographers and others engaged in the practice of journalism. They face unique protection concerns and challenges.

Media workers, in particular those engaged at the local and national levels, are exposed to the risks of working on dangerous assignments. They can also be targeted for the part they play in delivering the news to the public. Furthermore, after assignment, these locally employed civilians remain in the area and face additional risks. They may be declared traitors and face difficulties in their work. They may even be detained and face criminal charges for their involvement in the journalistic activities undertaken. They usually do not have the same level of security as staff journalists or foreign correspondents and too often are a living example of the price one pays for freedom of expression.

The UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity notes that the protection of journalists should not be limited to those formally recognised as journalists, but should cover others, including community media workers, citizen journalists and those who may be using media as a means of reaching their audiences. Journalists, employers and associations should be aware of their responsibilities and must take steps to aid team members in difficulty, including freelances, fixers, photojournalists, drivesr, interpreters and other. It should be recognized globally that laws ensuring safety of journalists should also extend to media workers, especially locally employed personnel who generate a significant amount of public interest journalism.

The panel discussion points were:

  • Participation of media workers in the struggle to uphold the rule of law and human rights, and how this affects their safety.
  • Risks visa incidents of threats and attacks against media workers
  • Determining awareness, knowledge, and attitudes toward media workers’ roles, relevance and safety
  • Steps needed to ensure better safety for locally employed media workers
  • Role of the media outlets
  • Role the UN would have to play in ensuring compliance with the obligation to protect journalists and media workers.


What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

This was more for those who do journalism and especially for those in the Salvation Army who travel to other parts of the world to do journalism. Awareness of the struggles some face just to present what is happening in other parts of the world could cost you your life if not careful.


Web links for more information


Tags: United Nations, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG4: Quality Education, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG5: Gender Equality