Conditions for members of the media have deteriorated sharply the past decades, journalists are increasingly being singled out and attacked for what they write and say. Especially worrisome is the situation for journalists reporting from conflict zones around the world - they face grave threats to their own lives on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, journalists and media experts in the OSCE region have gained experience from a number of armed conflicts. While each presents unique challenges for the media and the countries affected, it is important that the lessons learned and positive practices be shared as a means to help preserve media freedom.
The purpose of this conference is to examine and review the current situation relating to the safety of journalists reporting from conflicts, to share problems and best practices, and to inititate the formulation of recommendations ot the governments on ways to improve journalists' safety in conflict zones in the OSCE area. This conference in part builds on the work and experiences stemming from the roundtable discussions that the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media has organized between representatives of media organizations from the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The Conference will mainly focus on the following areas:
- Best practices and the development of practical tools on issues of conflict and war reporting;
- Journalists' safety and journalism ethics;
- Measures to deal with propaganda for war and hatred, and the information war;
- Media regulation;
- Confidence building measures among journalists from different parties to conflicts
Working languages of the Conference will be English and Russian. This event is open to members of civil society.
Registration: Registration for the conference will open on Monday, 4 May 2015 and close Friday, 5 June 2015. Please note that only those participants who have registered will be granted entry to the conference.
Side events: OSCE participating States’ delegations and media NGOs are encouraged to organize side events on issues of and related to media freedom and pluralism in times of conflict. The deadline for the submission of side event applications is Friday, 22 May 2015. Organizers of side events must fill out the attached checklist and send it to FOMConf2015@osce.org by this deadline. The final schedule of side events will be posted to the conference webpage by Wednesday, 27 May 2015.
Get updates on the conference via Twitter using the hashtag #journosafeOSCE, the conference will also feature live updates and information using the same hashtag. The conference will also be webcast live.
Contacts: For questions about the conference please send an email to FOMConf2015@osce.org. Alternatively, please call Nicolas Ebnöther for questions on substantive matters (+43 1 514 36 6806), or Jennifer Adams (+43 1 514 36 6813) for questions on logistical matters.