Story By: Lelugnim Tokinai & Lily Cox-Skall
The parallel session 3 of the World Press Freedom Day was about the joint launch UNESCO report on the “WORLD TRENDS IN FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA DEVELOPMENT ” and the “RE/SHAPING CULTURAL POLICIES” . Alternately, the speakers give their view points about the thematic.
During this panel, a number of experts discussed two separate reports, which include the “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development,” and “Re-shaping Cultural Policies.” The panelists discussed how stakeholders can ensure that media remains independent, and that participatory governance for culture are included as priorities in national policies and frameworks for sustainable development. The panellists also discussed ways to support artists and journalists at risk, how we can improve gender equality in the media and culture in the workplace. Finally, panellists discussed what is needed to protect freedom of expression and civic engagement in the global digital ecosystem in the coming years.
The speakers covered a number of issues, including the global state of freedom of expression, access to information and cultural life, and the protection of fundamental freedoms. Therefore, it was the opportunity to talk about the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; by providing new information and data on the new challenges in media development and cultural policy.
The joint launch of report demonstrates that free, plural and independent media, gender equality in the media, as well as artistic freedom and creativity are the key to the functioning of strong and vibrant democratic societies. Further, it proved that innovative cultural policies implemented at regional and local levels have a positive impact on the whole of cultural governance. It highlights the strategic frameworks best adapted to the digital environment, the emergence of exchange platforms and the dynamism of artistic incubators in the global South. The rapport has brought out the persistent inequalities under – representation of women in the culture sector, trade barriers on culture goods and service from the global South and vulnerability of artists at risk. Also, it had been essential in the way of providing yet unpublished statistics and data in these areas.
Starting with the background that gender equality is missing in action, Julie Reid, researcher, University of South Africa, came on the fact that a multifaceted gender gap persists in almost all cultural fields in the most parts of the world. For her, the disparity is not widely recognized but needs to be acknowledged and tackled if true diversity of cultural expressions to be achieved.