BZU Celebrates World Press Freedom Day
Center at Birzeit University celebrated the World Press Day at the UNESCO Office in Amman, in cooperation with the UNESCO office in Qatar and Ramallah.
o mark the global celebration of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), UNESCO Amman Office was joined this year by the UNESCO Doha and Ramallah Offices for a sub-regional commemoration focusing on the topic, “Critical minds for critical times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just, inclusive societies.”
Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, the event was hosted by the Royal Film Commission in Amman, and brought together media professionals, human rights advocates, law and policy makers, civil society organizations, UN agencies, and academics. During the event, UNESCO facilitated two panel discussions on the central role of freedom of expression and the right to information in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Director of the Center Nibal Thawbateh said that the mission of the Media Center is to promote peace and contribute in the efforts of sustainable developments. She alluded to the National Initiative for Developing Media that aims at overcoming the challenges and obstacles that faces the media sector to promote a more free and professional media.
The first panel discussion focused on the media’s role in peace building. The media, as a community, can prevent and help to resolve conflict by disseminating accurate and timely information, creating awareness and knowledge, promoting transparent, accountable and participatory governance.
Tackling the topic of hate speech, the second panel elaborated on the legal and non-legal measures to combat the proliferation of hate speech online. Panelists discussed how to counter hate speech in media through ethics and self-regulation, how Media and Information Literacy (MIL) can act as a tool for preventing hate speech and how strengthening partnerships between media and civil society to serves to promote balanced narratives.