Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Global Conference for Media Freedom: Will fine words turn into action to protect journalists?

Picture of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi dominates speakers
at the Global Conference for Media Freedom 

Two men dominated the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London this summer even though they weren't there. Jamal Khashoggi and Donald Trump.

Khashoggi, the US-based Washington Post columnist, murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, symbolises the way most killers of journalists act with impunity. The conference was told that in 90 per cent of cases, the killers of journalists are never bought to justice.

Trump was roundly criticised for his anti-press attacks. His use of “fake news” and description of journalists as “enemies of the people” were seen to undermine liberal democracy and encourage populists and authoritarian leaders.

One man who was there and a major supporter of the conference was Jeremy Hunt, who was out as Foreign Secretary within weeks after losing the Tory leadership battle to Boris Johnson and refusing to be reshuffled.
  • You can read my conference report here in the latest edition of InPublishing.

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