Seminar: Defying hate and threats against women journalists

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On the 2nd of December 2016, Sweden celebrated the 250th anniversary of our Freedom of the Press Act – the first of its kind in the world and a precedent to be followed by all democracies.

In the spirit of the Swedish Freedom of the Press Act, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Fojo Media Institute/Linnæus University, the Swedish Institute and the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO wished to celebrate this historic event by paying tribute to all women journalists who defy hate speech and threats, pursuing their mission of providing citizens with the information needed to make enlightened decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments. On the celebration day a seminar was arranged to focus on defying hate and threats against women journalists.

Women, investigative reporters are often subjected to hate and threats, not only because they report on abuse of power, but because they are women. Undemocratic governments, religious organisations, organised crime and extreme political organisations and individuals use threats and hate to silence the women who are making their voices heard. This constitutes not only a threat to qualitative journalism, but also to equality and ultimately to democracy itself.

As a token of appreciation for all the work that these journalists do, we had invited a few select prominent journalists – Barkha Dutt (India), Laura Castellanos (Mexico), Galina Timochenko (Russia/Latvia), Jessikka Aro (Finland), Anita Sarkeesian (Canada/USA), Miranda Patrucić (Bosnia), Jamela Alindogan (Philippines), Fatuma Noor (Somalia), Baria Alamuddin (Lebanon) and Anna Gullberg (Sweden) – to the event in support for the safety of women journalists worldwide.

The seminar was introduced by Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and attended by Dunja Mijatović, Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Frank la Rue, Assistant Director-General of Communication and Information at UNESCO.

The seminar was based on storytelling, using the stories by the invited journalists and representatives, as a point of departure on how to find strategies to counter hate speech, threats and disinformation.

Seminar Programme:
• 10 specially invited women journalists
• Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström
• UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Frank la Rue
• OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic
Moderator was Baria Alamuddin.

More about the seminar:
The 2nd December Declaration 
Programme 2 December 2016 in Stockholm
Invited speakers
The Swedish Freedom of the Press Act in relation to today’s threats and hate against women journalists

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Phone: +46 (0) 480 44 64 00 Address: Linnéuniversitetet, fojo, 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden Visiting Address: Gröndalsvägen 19, 392 36 Kalmar, Sweden Email: fojoinfo@lnu.se