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‘Safety of Journalism – more urgent than ever’

Register now for the World Press Freedom Conference 2020 digital edition (9 – 10 December 2020)!

Back in April, Leiden University scholars Jaap de JongWillem Koetsenruijter and Remco Breuker were all set to host the Academic Conference as part of UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Conference 2020. However, the global pandemic meant a complete rethink of how to safely organise such a large and important event. We can now announce that the WPFC 2020 -digital edition will be held on 9 – 10 December 2020 and online registration has been opened.

The WPFC highlights the importance of a free and independent media, which is why this year’s title is Journalism without Fear or Favour. Organisers UNESCO and the Netherlands have adopted a digital format, so that journalists, media, human rights advocates, policy makers, academics, youth and NGOs from all over the world will still be able to come together and stand up for free and independent media. A key feature of the WPFC has always been the Academic Conference, which, this year, is being hosted by Leiden University.

Academic Conference

Jaap de Jong and Willem Koetsenruijter (Journalism and New Media) and Remco Breuker (Korean Studies), assisted by many highly respected scholars from around the globe, are organising the Academic Conference on the 9th of December. This time the theme is Safety of Journalism. As Koetsenruijter explains, ‘The safety of journalists is an important and urgent problem. Journalists are being threatened while doing their job. They are being imprisoned or even murdered for the things they write.’

The digital edition of the Academic Conference includes a diverse and inspiring line-up of speakers presenting research on topics such as the safety of woman journalists, journalism in challenging environments and the role of politics in shaping media freedom. It features keynote speaker Glenda Daniels (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) who will highlight challenges but will focus on the opportunities that these times present in her speech Journalism’s Power, Responsibility & Public Service.

Innovative format

The Academic Conference is based on an innovative format, merging digital and in-person elements. Some scholars will present and discuss their work in a television programme format during a live studio session, whereas others will present their research during short online interactive sessions. It will be led by Bruce Mutsvairo (Auburn University, USA) and Romy Heymans (Leiden University). 

‘We aim to provide a global podium for a large number of international scholars to present their research on this subject. Equally, this conference is an excellent opportunity for students to meet scholars and scout this important field of research,’ says Koetsenruijter. He goes on, ‘We hope the conference will function as an accelerator, initiating new research in this field, and, above all, we hope it will encourage new connections between scholars from all over the world.’

Find out more about the programme and register now!

WPFC2020 - digital edition website

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