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A New Fund Aiming to Promote Global Free Press

17 July 2019
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On the 10th of July the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced the creation of a new fund to support and train journalists.
During the International conference about media freedom (July 10-11), Britain and Canada established a fund in order to help journalists around the word, especially in vulnerable areas. Both countries declared to allocate 3 million pound sterling (3,8 M US$) and 1 million of Canadian dollars (765.000 US$), respectively.

This fund will be administered and implemented by UNESCO. The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, congratulated the creation of this new international fund for media defense. The objective will be to support UN Plan on the Safety of Journalists. “This will help fund legal advice and improve security training for the benefit of reporters working in situations of conflict and danger and to help them uphold their right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press”, Ms. Azoulay said.
In spite of everything, some of the reporters and editors who were present at the conference would want more direct and decisive actions from world leaders, for protecting journalists and punishing those who kill them (in reference to Jamal Khashoggi’s killing).
Countries restricting media freedom must pay

During his speaking, Jeremy Hunt, currently in the race to succeed Theresa May, made a point about cases of censorship and freedom restrictions. “Countries that restrict media freedom must be made to pay a diplomatic price”, British foreign minister said. His remarks are in reference to the situation in China but not only. In his opinion, China appoints people to censor content, produce fake social media posts and manipulate online output. Last month, China announced a new campaign for cleaning up its internet. In November, around 10,000 accounts of news-creator were judged inappropriate and removed.

His declaration was supported by Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer specialised in media freedom. She criticised the disinterest from world leaders in regards to the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi and criticised U.S. President Donald Trump

Around 100 countries were represented by delegations at the event. The conference was hosted by the UK and Canadian governments. The event aims to improve the safety of journalists who report across the world.

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