Although attacks on journalists continue unabated, there are examples of successful grassroots and global efforts to stem this tide.
This was the key message by Albana Shala, Chairperson of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), when she flagged the IPDC’s latest publication titled An Attack on One is an Attack on All: Successful Initiatives to Protect and Combat Impunity.
“I’m very proud that this book serves to bring to life stories of survival and success that would otherwise remain untold,” said Shala. “These stories can help in the implementation of the UN Plan of Action.”
One of the journalists featured in the collection of stories, Maria Ressa, head of the social-media-based Rappler in the Philippines, spoke of the fierce online abuse she had suffered, and how she had refused to be cowed into silence.
Speaking earlier about the book, the Netherlands ambassador to UNESCO, Lionel Veer, lauded the book’s portrayal of journalistic attacks as attacks on democracy as a whole.
He said: “We must all be in solidarity with journalists who are endangered as a result of their profession. That’s why successful projects on protecting journalists need to be celebrated.”
The book launch took place amidst a gathering of over 100 participants during the Multistakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity held on 29 June in Geneva.
The gathering included UN special rapporteurs on various aspects of freedom of expression, UNESCO and OHCHR Member States, professional associations, media, academia and other key non-UN actors.
The book brings alive 22 stories of courageous efforts at protecting journalists and putting a stop to the prevailing culture of impunity.
Fackson Banda (firstname.lastname@example.org)