Wednesday, August 20, 2014
While the conflict over Eastern Ukraine continues, there is also a battle going on in the media. With journalists not being able to fully access the scenes of combat and partisan media coverage fabricating news, it is difficult to tell the truth from the lies. This has already proven to result in citizens not being able to flee their homes in time and becoming stuck in the crossfire. How can we help independent journalists to document what is actually happening?

To see how we can support journalists reporting from the front-lines, The Independent Association of Broadcasters of Ukraine, Free Press Unlimited, and the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) are organizing a meeting from 24-26 September 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine with the support of The Open Society Foundations and the European Endowment for Democracy. The difficulties independent journalists face seem to also have become a pattern in other former soviet republics, like Georgia and Tajikistan. In this global meeting, we try to take this trend into account and see if we can come up with ideas to support journalists in these countries.

Aim of this meeting is to address several challenges that independent media face in view of social and political events that are shaping the Eurasia region: in particular the digital switchover and the shrinking space for freedoms. We expect to outline strategies for enlarging the space for independent media and freedom of expression in the region and to set an agenda for change and innovation. Two main tracks of the meeting will be digitization and Internet freedom. Regional trends will be a crosscutting topic.

‘Agenda for change’ will gather GFMD members from the Eurasia region, International media support organizations, as well as human rights activists and advocacy leaders active in the region. Analysts and experts on regional trends, digitization practices and Internet related issues will be solicited as speakers and moderators.