2dec Talare 920

On the 2nd of December 2016, Sweden celebrated the 250th anniversary of our Freedom of the Press Act – the first of its kind in the world and a precedent to be followed by all democracies.
In the spirit of the Swedish Freedom of the Press Act, the Fojo Media Institute/Linnæus University, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Institute and the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO wished to celebrate this historic event by paying tribute to all women journalists who defy hate speech and threats, pursuing their mission of providing citizens with the information needed to make enlightened decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments. On the celebration day a seminar was arranged to focus on defying hate and threats against women journalists.
Here are the stories the invited women journalists told, and reflexions from some other participants.

Anita Sarkeesian has been harassed every day for more than four years

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian-American feminist, media and video game critic as well as blogger. She is the creator of the video blog and organization “Feminist Frequency” and has faced widespread harassment having critically examined female stereotypes in video games, including in her video series ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’. The harassment, which included threats of rape and murder, attracted much media attention.
Sarkeesian was the keynote speaker at the conference ‘Gender equality in game development’, held in Stockholm in 2013.

Jessikka Aro - investigative journalist that became target of Russian trolls

Jessikka Aro, the Finnish investigative journalist got headlines around the world after she published reports on Russian internet troll. After the publications, she faced massive threats including a telephone call with a gun going off and a protest outside the headquarters of YLE, the Finnish TV-network where Aro is employed.
Aro herself has said that the campaign against her has only made her more interested in the phenomenon. Since April this year she is on leave from YLE and working on an international investigative book ‘Vladimir Putin's Troll Empire’.
She trains journalists, officials and experts to better recognize and counter hate and propaganda campaigns as well as to develop their communication strategies.

Laura Castellanos: Increased aggression against journalists in Mexico

Laura Castellanos is a Mexican independent journalist covering armed conflict and the rights of women and indigenous people. She has written four books on these topics.
Last year El Universal newspaper censored her story on the massacre at Apatzingán, Michoacán, committed by federal police against unarmed civilians. With support from the British human rights organization Article 19, she was able to publish/broadcast her investigation online. This story and two additional pieces on this case have become a necessary references for organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the United Nations in Mexico and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
For this investigative journalistic piece, she recently received the National Award of Journalism. She has also obtained the First Place by the Club de Periodistas de México for her series on armed civilians known as autodefensas who rose against organized crime in Michoacán.

Galina Timochenko - how she became target for ex-collegues in Russia

Galina Timochenko is a Russian born journalist and executive editor of the news site Meduza. She has taken up the fight against the Kremlin controlled media. She was the long-time chief editor of the hugely influential online newspaper Lenta.ru but was let go in 2014 together with half the staff in what is widely acknowledged as an attempt to censor free media. 74 members of the staff left in protest. Together with 20 journalists from the former staff, she started the exile news site Meduza for which she is currently executive editor. Meduza is based in Riga as a consequence of the situation with direct and indirect Russian censorship.
Timochenko was nominated for the European Press Prize for her courageous work.

Baria Alamuddin: People has to understand the value of journalism

Baria Alamuddin was the moderator of the seminar.
She is foreign editor of Al Hayat newspaper and the editor of Media Services Syndicate. She is an award-winning journalist and has interviewed numerous heads of state. She has been the President of the International Arab Charity (IAC) since 2004 and is a member of the advisory board of the Tallberg Forum in Sweden, and the British Lebanese association in the UK.
She was a news anchor for Lebanese television and makes numerous appearances as an analyst on Middle Eastern affairs on CNN International and American Edition, BBC, Sky News, ITN, CNBC, Al Arabia, Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi Television, LBC and other TV channels. She was also the in-house analyst for CNN during the 2003 Iraq war. Alamuddin is a frequent speaker in International conferences on democracy, security, defense and terrorism.

UNESCO´s Frank la Rue: The first thing is to guarantee the safety of journalists

Frank La Rue is Assistant Director-General of Communication and Information at UNESCO. Previously, he was the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression at the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. Mr. La Rue is also co-founder of ‘the Center for Legal Action for Human Rights’ (CALDH) and has been involved in the promotion of human rights for over 25 years.
He is widely respected as one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates, with particular expertise in political analysis, democratic development and conflict management, negotiation and resolution. A lawyer by training, Mr La Rue has previously worked as a a journalist and acted as a judicial advisor to the government in his native Guatemala.

More from the events of December 2

The 2nd December Declaration 

Pictures from the events December 2
Programme 2 December 2016 in Stockholm

The Swedish Freedom of the Press Act in relation to today’s threats and hate against women journalists

If you wish to have continuous information on Fojo´s work against hate and threats, please mail to Den här e-postadressen skyddas mot spambots. Du måste tillåta JavaScript för att se den.

Miranda Patrucić - death threats and harassment from the audited

Miranda Patrucić is an investigative reporter and regional editor for Center for Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) focusing on Central Asia, the Balkans and the Caucasus. She is based in Sarajevo.
Highlights of her work include exposing billions in telecom bribes in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, uncovering hidden assets of Azerbaijan's and Montenegro's ruling elites, the billion dollar arms trade between Europe and the Gulf fueling conflicts in the Middle East, and ties between organized crime, government and business in Montenegro. She collaborated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on a project involving tobacco smuggling, the multibillion black market in endangered Bluefin tuna, Swiss Leaks and the Panama Papers.

Jamela Alindogan on threats while covering a story

Jamela Alindogan is an award-winning correspondent for Al Jazeera English. She covers the Philippines and most of South East Asia and has reported on elections in Indonesia and Malaysia, protests in Vietnam and Cambodia and reported exclusively in many conflict areas, especially in the troubled region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. She has been covering humanitarian and armed conflict issues for years.
In October 2013, she was the first international journalist to report on the hostage siege in Zamboanga in Mindanao. She was also one of the very first journalists to report on the ground after having survived the onslaught when typhoon Haiyan struck central Philippines in November, 2013. At the seminar she told a story about what happened while covering a story at Mindanao.

Anna Gullberg: The price when hatred also affects people around her

Anna Gullberg, editor-in-chief and publisher for Gefle Dagblad and publisher for My Gävle. Board Member of the Swedish Publisher Association, the Liberal News Bureau and the Swedish Journalist Fund. Previously Director and Publisher at Swedish Public Service Radio Dalarna.
Anna Gullberg was threatened to life this spring after the Gefle Dagblad had published a series of articles of the mosque in Gävle and its connections to radical Islamism.

OSCE's Dunja Mijatović: Lack of real action plan to stop harassments

Dunja Mijatović of Bosnia and Herzegovina was appointed the Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in March 2010. Mijatović, one of the founders of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was elected Chair of the European Platform of Regulatory Agencies in 2007. She also chaired the Council of Europe’s Group of Specialists on Freedom of Expression and Information in times of crisis.
Mijatović is an expert in human rights, communications and media strategy and regulatory and media policy. She has extensive knowledge of institution-building in transitional states and many years of experience in issues related to journalists’ safety and new media, including digitalization, convergence and the Internet.

Margot Wallström
Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Margot Wallström introduced the seminar

Many voices are under attack around the world. But the world will become awfully quiet without free speech. More and more voices are being silenced by legislation, self-censorship and intimidation.
The seminar was an event to pay tribute to all women journalists who defy hate speech and threats, pursuing their mission of providing citizens with the information needed to make enlightened decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments.
The seminar was introduced by Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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@fergb Hi. Coming to London 25-26 Sep. Setting up fact checking hub in Sweden. Would like to meet you. Do you have time?

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