As United Nations lead agency for safeguarding freedom of expression as fundamental human right, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is leading the global celebration of the World Press Freedom Day 2020. As part of the regional edition under the theme ‘One Region, One Goal: Journalism Without Fear or Favour in Latin America and the Caribbean’, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean will be organizing a virtual dialogue ‘Rethinking the Media Landscape in Caribbean Small Island Developing States post-COVID-19’, scheduled to take place on 4 May from 9:00 to 11:00 am.
For the virtual event UNESCO convenes up to 60 journalists, media owners, academics, civil society actors, media regulators and state institutions to discuss the media landscape in the context of the threat of media capture by commercial and state elements during and after COVID-19. After UNESCO’s introduction on the celebration, the dialogue will be initiated by a presentation entitled “The Threat of Media Capture in the Caribbean” and will kick of the discussions on media capture in relation to self-censorship, limits of state regulation, media concentration, etc.
The protection of journalism and independent media is more important today than ever, because in times of a global crisis like today the whole world depends on independent quality journalism that can save our lives!
In Latin America and the Caribbean, journalists and media professionals face a wide range of challenges in carrying out their work. Particularly in view of the health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus disease, journalists are at the forefront of reporting the plight of the people locked up in their homes. Not only is the profession greatly undervalued in terms of pay and prestige, but journalists often work under life-threatening circumstances.
In the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean region, UNESCO’s Cluster Office for the Caribbean is organizing a virtual dialogue with an open discussion with journalists, media owners, academics, civil society actors, media regulators and government institutions on the media landscape in relation to the risk of commercial and governmental elements appropriating the media during and after COVID-19.
Virtual Dialogue ‘Rethinking the Media Landscape in Caribbean Small Island Developing States post-COVID-19’,
May 4, 2020 – 9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m (GMT-5)
Mr David Ellis, CBU Director & Station Manager – Starcom Network Inc. Barbados
Mr Cordel Green, Executive Director, Broadcasting Commission Jamaica
Ms Jewel Forde, General Secretary, Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM)
Ms Kiran Maharaj, President, Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC)
Dr Livingston White, President, Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC)
The Online event on May 4 on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020 is part of a regional activity focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean under the theme ‘One Region, One Goal: Journalism without fear or favor in Latin America and the Caribbean” in which eleven UNESCO field offices of the region are participating. Each day of the week is celebrated under a different theme reflecting pressing issues of press freedom on the subcontinent.