World Press Freedom Day: New Voices
Executive Director, BBC Media Action
World Press Freedom Day encourages us - as an organisation and a sector - to focus on why media matters, and why we need to protect and build responsible journalism around the world.
You’ll find many examples on our website of how we work with partners to help strengthen the media, along with the personal stories of the journalists we support. Their stories illustrate the tenacity and commitment required to be a journalist in the more fragile and hostile places in the world. Yet it is there that people's stories need to be told.
In Myanmar for example we have just launched a new youth-based radio show, Lin Yat Kyair ('Young Stars with Shining Futures'). The presenter Thang Kim expresses cautious optimism to describe a programme that he feels "responds to young people and motivates them to pursue their dreams".
Journalism training has been a part of our work for over 12 years and it is still central. We have two new films about the impact of our work in this area – one highlights Haba na Haba ('Little by Little'), a new participatory radio show in Tanzania, and another film shows how we work to support journalists around the world.
This year we are working in partnership with BBC Arabic and will take part in events in Tunisia to mark World Press Freedom Day (3 - 5 May). An annual conference organised by UNESCO, this year's theme is 'New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies'.
Over 750 journalists, non-governmental organisations and other practitioners are gathered to support and discuss issues of freedom of expression and media support.
James Deane, Director of Policy and Insight, is taking part in a panel event on Media and Public Engagement. The session will explore how media is used by citizens, and how now, more than ever, the audience actively participates in shaping content. James will be blogging from the event in the coming days.
And finally, please do read the moving blog by our colleague Amara Bangura as he reflects on the part he has played in reporting to Sierra Leoneans and Liberians the Charles Taylor trial from the Hague. Amara embodies the best of journalism – integrity, commitment, passion and skill. He has a powerful story to tell.