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Friday, August 18, 2017
ROME, Apr 25 2017 (IPS) - Journalists are not only major users of the cherished right to freedom of expression but also symbols of the extent to which a society tolerates and promotes freedom of expression. The current state of safety of journalists worldwide is alarming. Over the last decade 827 journalists and media workers have been killed. Even more alarming is the fact that in less than one out of ten cases have the perpetrators been apprehended.
Judicial systems worldwide need to be strengthened with a key focus on protecting freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.
Even in this emerging world of technology and digital accessibility, we remain handcuffed by the inconvenience of facts. While the digital era has enhanced access to information, facilitating exchange as well as intercultural dialogue, the rise of online hate speech shows that digital technologies also bring a number of challenges. One of these is striking the right balance between freedom of expression online and respect for equality and human dignity.
The media can provide a platform for a multitude of voices and perspectives to help strengthen tolerance, dialogue and critical thinking. They can also offer counter narratives to challenge the ideas promoted in violent extremism narratives.
Let us be mindful: the role of the media is only as strong as the desire for truth.
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