Thursday, 28 May 2009

Baghdad summit in call to protect journalists

A Journalism Summit has been held in Baghdad aimed at helping to develop an independent media in Iraq and improving journalists' safety.
The summit, organised by the International Federation of Journalists and the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, was the first international meeting of any kind in the city since the war began six years ago.
The summit launched a three-year national campaign based upon the IFJ global Ethical Journalism Initiative, involving a programme of seminars, debate and professional actions to raise media standards, build a unified journalists' movement and improve safety of journalists.
The IFJ says although Iraq has an abundance of newspapers, television and radio outlets and online services, few of the titles are economically viable, and much of the journalism suffers from political interference and sectarian bias.
Agreements were signed between the IFJ and the Iraq Commission on Integrity and the Iraq Electoral Commission in which both groups pledged to defend press rights and to organise seminars and training for journalists on the role of media in exposing corruption in public life and improving the quality of reporting around election time.
Top priority will be given to ending the security threats. More than 200 journalists and media staff have been killed in the last six years.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear was at the conference and blogs about it here.

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