The Conference "Safety of journalists covering conflict & sensitive issues" opened 2. November with participants from 32 countries. Initially, the...
The Conference “Safety of journalists covering conflict & sensitive issues” opened 2. November with participants from 32 countries. Initially, the Secretary of state Tone Skogen from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that journalists were key agents of democracy and freedom and praised the partnership with HiOA. Furthermore, she emphasized the need to combat systemic impunity when it comes to assaults against journalists. She was joined by representatives from UNESCO (Rachel Pollack), Free Expression Foundation (Knut Olav Åmås), the Norwegian Union of Journalists (Eva Stabell) and Benedicte Giæver from NORCAP.
“All great ideas are dangerous” Knut Olav Åmås quoting Oscar Wilde.
Secretary of state (2nd from left) with MEKK organizers
The introductory notes were followed by a thorough introduction by Prof. Jackie Harrison from Sheffield University, on the challenges facing journalists at risk in today’s world, commented by Ramon Tuazon, President of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. Next, a panel on “Surviving the Field: practical experiences, with Abeer Saady (Egyptian experienced war correspondent), photo journalist Kyrre Lien and Hannah Storm, director of the International News Safety Institute.
“The culture of impunity causes a disempowerment of the public and a reduction of informed decicions”, (Jackie Harrison)
“There is nothing cultural in killing journalists, it is political.” (Ramon Tuazon)
“No [safety] training is identical. No manual has everything.” (Abeer Saady)
“Beyond the tombs and bullets comes the moral injury – the emotional toll of journalists covering refugees” (Hannah Storm)