In September, 20 Syrian media agencies signed the Ethical Charter for Syrian Media: an important milestone for Syrian journalism and for Free Press Unlimited. Syrian journalists worked together with us for about two years on this charter, in which media agencies committed to hold themselves to basic journalistic values such as respect for truth and integrity. The goal of this code of ethics is to win back the Syrian people’s faith in the media, which has been badly damaged by government manipulation and the many resistance groups.
Independent media in various Russian-speaking countries will soon be able to collaborate more and better, thanks to our ground-breaking projectRussian Language News Exchange, for which we received funding in 2015. For example, media organisations can share correspondents and jointly fund journalistic trips and research projects. Because of this, information from across borders is becoming accessible again, and this is contributing to independent provision of information.
One of the high points of 2015 was the award of the Geuzen Medal to Free Press Unlimited. This distinction is intended for people or organisations that have, in an extraordinary way, committed to fighting for democracy and against dictatorships, discrimination and racism. This was a wonderful acknowledgement, not just for us but more especially for our partners.
Free Press Unlimited also received an enormous boost from our selection by the Dutch government as a strategic partner for the next five years, together with 25 other social organisations. We want to help media organisations and journalists in conflict areas to lobby more effectively and to appeal for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In addition, this strategic partnership gives us the opportunity to challenge threats against journalists, through international forums such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and UNESCO.
Learn more about Free Press Unlimited project in our annual report 2015