Thursday, April 14, 2016
On 3 May it is World Press Freedom Day, and sadly this attention is still needed. Only one in seven people lives in a country with a free press. The Press Freedom Committee organizes the Festival of Free Speech on Tuesday 3 May 3 at De Balie in Amsterdam.

During this evening, we celebrate press freedom, but we also analyse the freedom of speech critically. Are we still able to write, photograph, film, show and publish everything we want? What is the status of press freedom in other parts of the world? Where is the ‘Red Line’ for what you can and cannot write? And maybe even more important: who decides where the frontier of free speech is placed?

To answer these questions and to discuss the ‘Red Line’, the Press Freedom Committee, existing of (amongst others) Free Press Unlimited, the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ), RNW Media, the Association of Editors in chief and De Balie, is organizing the Festival van het Vrije Woord on World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May. This year we discuss the ‘Red Line’: how do we work with the border of free speech?

The program

Ruben TerlouFree Press Unlimited will launch the Freedom of the Press index of 2015 together with journalist and filmmaker Fidan Ekiz and Minka Nijhuis. Author Nir Baram from Israel will discuss free speech with Dutch Middle-East correspondent Olaf Koens. Pierre Terdjman will talk about his photography project Dysturb: is there a ‘Red Line’ for imagery, a border to what you can and cannot show? Chinese journalist Yuan Chang and Dutch filmmaker Ruben Terlou will discuss internet freedom and (online) journalism in China.

Asia-correspondent Michiel Maas will interview journalists from Pakistan and South-Sudan who are in the Netherlands because of the Shelter City-program. Maurits Martijn (De Correspondent), Arjan el Fassed (Open State Foundation) and Daphne van der Kroft (Bits of Freedom) zoom in on online censorship: how much power do businesses like Twitter and Facebook have over our freedom of speech? Comedian André Manuel will give his perspective on free speech in a closing show. Journalist and writer Leon Verdonschot will host the entire program in the main hall.

Though freedom of press might seem obvious, the right to write, photograph, film and publish is suppressed in many parts of the world. We hope to meet you at the Festival van het Vrije Woord to discuss the ‘Red Line’ of free speech and to celebrate press freedom with us.

Date: 3 May 2016
Location: De Balie (Leidseplein, Amsterdam)
Walk in: 19.00h
Program: 19.30h – 23.30h
Tickets: €10 (€8,50 for NVJ-members, students) / via

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