Estonia will be hosting the Global Conference for Media Freedom in 2021, an event designed to strengthen joint efforts in defending media freedom worldwide and to connect with journalists and media workers, civil society and governments.
According to the Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, Estonia was taking on the responsibility at a crucial moment.
“The pandemic and political turmoil in many parts of the world have made the freedom of expression and media freedom both online and offline more important than ever. We are seeing restrictions on media freedom in Belarus, as well as in China, Russia and Venezuela,” Reinsalu said in a statement.
“Publishing the truth remains a matter of life and death in many parts of the world. In the past 14 years, nearly 1,200 journalists have been killed across the world, and in nine cases out of ten, these crimes have gone unpunished. This statistic is truly appalling.”
The synergies of the internet and media freedom is one important topic Estonia would like to highlight.
“Journalists and other media workers are more and more dependent on internet freedom and modern technologies. Internet shutdowns must end and the broadest possible access to internet services must be ensured,” Reinsalu said, adding that digital technologies should be human-centered and comply with human rights.
According to current plans, the conference will be held in the autumn of 2021. This year, the media freedom conference and ministerial meeting of the coalition was hosted by Canada and Botswana. The Media Freedom Coalition has 37 member states.
The cover image is illustrative.