When jour­nal­ists gath­ered for global me­dia free­dom and peace

Sunday Trust - - MEDIA - (Mi’raj News Agency)

For jour­nal­ists, 2017 rep­re­sented mis­for­tune of jour­nal­ism. The In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists (IFJ) says at least 81 re­porters were killed and vi­o­lence against me­dia soared last year. Also, more than 70 me­dia com­pa­nies were closed in Venezuela. An in­ter­na­tional NGO un­der the UN ECOSOC, Heav­enly Cul­ture, World Peace, Restora­tion of Light (HWPL), formed a se­ries of me­dia fo­rums in 2017 and came out with a re­port of some of some of the ac­tiv­i­ties.

A news ar­ti­cle from the Guardian re­ported that “Global press free­dom plunges to worst level this cen­tury” mainly due to gov­ern­ment cen­sor­ship, crime tar­geted at jour­nal­ists and fi­nan­cial pres­sures as­so­ci­ated with the growth of the in­ter­net.

To re­spond to such chal­lenge and turn it into an op­por­tu­nity, some jour­nal­ists around the world in col­lab­o­ra­tion with an in­ter­na­tional NGO have been seek­ing ways to en­hance press free­dom through the in­ter­na­tional me­dia net­work and peace jour­nal­ism in re­la­tion. This is in line with re­think­ing their role in con­tri­bu­tion to build­ing a peace­ful and demo­cratic so­ci­ety.

In 2017, Heav­enly Cul­ture, World Peace, Restora­tion of Light (HWPL), said in a state­ment re­cently that it formed a se­ries Me­dia Fo­rums to es­tab­lish a work­ing group of jour­nal­ists around the world to ex­am­ine the phe­nom­ena of jour­nal­ism glob­ally and em­power the right and duty of jour­nal­ism per­tain­ing to peace and me­dia free­dom.

Ac­cord­ing to some jour­nal­ists, the cur­rent cri­sis of the me­dia is due in part to jour­nal­ism it­self. In the HWPL In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Fo­rum held on July 7, 2017 K. M. Harun, Se­nior Tele­vi­sion and Me­dia Con­sul­tant in Bangladesh, said, “Ethics of Jour­nal­ism changed due to com­mer­cial­ism, when me­dia lack ethics then it threat­ens the peace and har­mony rather than pro­mot­ing it. Me­dia has lost its cred­i­bil­ity due to the dis­sem­i­na­tion of a lot of neg­a­tive news in an ir­re­spon­si­ble man­ner. Print and broad­cast me­dia can only pro­mote peace and har­mony when re­spon­si­ble jour­nal­ism is prac­ticed.”

An­other prob­lem pointed out by jour­nal­ists is the trend of me­dia cov­er­age con­cen­trat­ing on war, con­flict, vi­o­lence, crime, and ha­tred that in­still neg­a­tive in­flu­ence to so­ci­ety. In the HWPL Me­dia Fo­rum held on Jan­uary 15, 2017, Mr Ali Alab­dal­lah, the jour­nal­ist from Swe­den said “Re­cently, the Euro­pean me­dia fo­cus on the war and the plot of how a num­ber of refugees came to the re­gion. They failed to fo­cus on hu­man­ity, cul­ture, and civilization to un­der­stand the hu­man na­ture, which pro­vides ideas of peace and co­ex­is­tence.” State and Me­dia Free­dom Me­dia free­dom es­pe­cially in­for­ma­tion shar­ing through news re­ports has been chal­lenged by gov­ern­ment cen­sor­ship in coun­tries with a low level of the demo­cratic sys­tem. “Free­dom of speech in most of the African coun­tries is still a myth, an ideal. If you do not learn how to write or tell your story in­tel­li­gently, the chances of sur­vival are min­i­mal,” said Mr Jean de Dieu Mun­yem­babazi, chief ed­i­tor of IGIHE in Bu­rundi.

“The me­dia have their own ob­ser­va­tions that should not be con­trolled by oth­ers. It is im­por­tant to pre­serve the in­de­pen­dence of the me­dia and ob­tain­ing ob­jec­tiv­ity of news is the re­spon­si­bil­ity given to jour­nal­ists,” added Pres­i­dent Xinzheng Zhou from “Ma­cau Rule of Law News­pa­per” pre­sented at the HWPL Me­dia Fo­rum held on De­cem­ber 2, 2017 in Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity, China.

Peace and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion - Con­struc­tion of Me­dia Net­work borders will as­sure the right of each in­di­vid­ual to present ideas,” said Mr Fe­dorov Petr, the di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs at Al­lRus­sia State Tele­vi­sion and Ra­dio Broad­cast­ing Com­pany when he spoke in the HWPL Me­dia Fo­rum - Voice of Press in CIS in June.

On Septem­ber 17, 2017, at the World Al­liance of Reli­gions’ Peace (WARP) Sum­mit, “the Con­fer­ence for Global Peace Me­dia Net­work - Free­dom of the Press and In­ter­na­tional Peace Me­dia Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tive” was held with 100 jour­nal­ists from 50 coun­tries around the world. It was sug­gested that the es­tab­lish­ment of me­dia agen­cies with a con­cen­tra­tion of peace can con­trib­ute to pub­lic aware­ness, and more jour­nal­ists should par­tic­i­pate in de­liv­er­ing news of peace and set­tle­ment of the con­flict rather than con­flict it­self.

“Par­tic­i­pat­ing in this net­work will help jour­nal­ists to be in­ter­na­tion­ally heard as well, and to present the sit­u­a­tion in their coun­tries among oth­ers. The in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion be­tween pro­fes­sional jour­nal­ists is some­thing that can al­ways con­trib­ute to strength­en­ing the me­dia sec­tor,” said Mr Bo­jan Sto­jkovski, the jour­nal­ist from Mak­fax News Agency, Mace­do­nia.

“Who can play the most im­por­tant role in mak­ing a world of peace with­out con­flicts? It de­pends on jour­nal­ists. If jour­nal­ists ded­i­cate them­selves to peace­build­ing ef­forts, thoughts of peo­ple es­pe­cially politi­cians will change. So we have high ex­pec­ta­tion in jour­nal­ism,” said Chair­man Man Hee Lee of HWPL.

“One of the big­gest achieve­ments in HWPL’s peace ac­tiv­i­ties is that we have built me­dia net­work through jour­nal­ists in coun­tries with the low level of me­dia free­dom. HWPL has ac­tively en­gaged in spread­ing a cul­ture of peace des­ig­nated in the Dec­la­ra­tion of Peace and Ces­sa­tion of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL as its peace ini­tia­tive, and an on­linebased news chan­nel will be the cen­ter­piece of ad­vo­cacy of me­dia free­dom and a world of peace,” said Mr Ian Seo, gen­eral di­rec­tor of depart­ment of pub­lic re­la­tions, HWPL HQ.

Prof. Edna Bern­abe and HWPL dis­cussed peace jour­nal­ism with stu­dents at Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines

Some jour­nal­ists ask ques­tion at one of the fo­rum

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