Saturday, 23 January 2010

draft petition to UNESCO

world journalism in crisis coalition

The following is a DRAFT petition for presentation to world lead agency on communications, UNESCO. Hyperlinks to come. Comments, criticism, feedback and suggestions very welcome

. . .

Petition to UNESCO Secretary General regards
world journalism in crisis

We, undersigned,

Assert world journalism in crisis.

State there is ample evidence betraying a lack of independent journalism within mainstream media, including a lack of critical analysis afore invasion of Iraq, and global economic crisis.

Recall contemporary apologies from mainstream media, for failure to fully report causes for war on Iraq, and global economic crisis.

Alert journalists to alarm at huge job loss among journalists since global economic crisis began three years ago.

Express deep concern at at least 100,000 journalists and other news room workers sacked from mainstream media over the last three decades.

Back establishment of this informal alliance to monitor the world crisis in journalism, and, advocate for effective solutions.

Support the idea that responses to global crisis should result in more independent investigative journalism,
not less.

Seek rapid response to world journalism in crisis, through industry unity, professional solidarity and multi-sectoral cooperation, both public and private.

Question a preponderance of public, and private, spending on so-called “communications” workers, also known as public relations.

Challenge a lack of strong and independent journalism, and how that lack results in massive societal disruption and armed conflict.

Warn against rampant worldwide corruption, including negligence of journalism.

Reject any idea of inevitability around economic crisis and the ‘need’ to further ‘restructure’ journalism.

Applaud 61 years under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially Article 19 ensuring basic right to receive and impart information.

Encourage journalists to better organise lobby and advocacy efforts in response to world journalism in crisis, including the need for colleagues to work on their behalf.

Envision reclaiming a central role for public and state broadcasters by innovating ethics-based web2 training for community and citizen journalism, effectively bridging digital divides.

Safegaurd against corruption in journalism by adopting TTT, Total Transparency Tools, involving immediate public release of all JICC digital correspondence and any finances.

Embrace vision from the Pacific Islands Forum, calling for a “confident, well-informed and professional” news media, as formal precedent for responding to world journalism in crisis, along with other regional and international bodies, like UNESCO.

Refer to the associated Forum report as evidencing need for news media to be well-resourced, to achieve such an aim.

Ask that UNESCO, as a world body dedicated to news media advancement, seek to formally further these issues at all levels within UN systems and across world society.

Suggest, urgently, three main courses of action in response to world journalism in crisis:

¨       Draw attention to world journalism in crisis.

¨       Advocate retention and rebuilding of journalism.

¨       Support calls for rapid scaling up of funding.

Sign this petition in support of the above concerns, questions and suggestions.

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John Daly said...

A new journalism must emerge that utilizes the power of new information and communication media through the adaptation of traditional journalistic media and the creation of new online vehicles for journalists. UNESCO can serve as a forum to generate and a clearing house of ideas as to how a strong and vibrant new journalism might emerge.

avaiki nius agency said...

. . .

Thanks John, that's encouraging.

Adaptation for me centres on realising the central strength of journalism - adherence to a code of ethics.

A suggestion is for public broadcasters to become centres of training excellence for citizen journalism and other community media.

Much has been written about information overload. The only way we're going to get on top of information overload is to equip a greater number of citizens with the tools to truly 'surf' the net.

. . .

Josephine Latu said...

A year late for this post ;) but yeah i'd sign this. Interesting to compare it to the Pacific situation -- I mean, we have our own crises quite different to these owing to our level of technology/literacy/development -- but we do get doubly affected in by the journalism crisis experienced in the West also.

avaiki nius agency said...

. . .

Kia orana !

and thank you so much Josephine,

You've finally boiled down what I have been trying to say for so long, to an intelligible sentence.

Yes, the crisis is in the West. In Germany, a certain exception, as their press is more stubbornly independent than elsewhere in the European Union. Apart from that, yes it does affect us.

Even by corporate standards, the bottom of the triangle known as Polynesia is not served well.

Compare New Zealand with Australia: New Zealand has no investigative TV unit at all, yet Four Corners continues for decades.

60 minutes?

Oh, please. The last time New Zealand media exposed big time corruption, it was the Winebox.

After years of legal challenges from all the huge names in corporate excellence, the government of New Zealand blanched, blinked.

Funnily enough ... or NOT ... the people involved in the TVNZ investigation were either kicked upstairs, swapped stations or were merely shunted aside, a la Ian Wishart.

This process hastens apace with the dumping of the TVNZ corporate charter - one of the very first acts of the new National government.

Barely a ripple across ' kiwi ' society.

Much like the whole Global Financial Crisis thang, corporate media cannot, in short, be trusted to police their own affairs.

As for the record of Australia and New Zealand in our island region, as regards their support for what is now considered by some as the Fourth Estate, well ... think of the dollars spent on the first, second and third estates.

Legislative, judiciary and the executive (government) would get ... what? 90 to 99% of the global tax dollar?

In terms of both local spending and donor aid, this doubly affects ability to handle our own unique crises, as you make clear.

After the soapbox, I have to confess to technical incompetence on the petition, which was launched, but sputtered on the site I chose,

The site refused access to me on a few occasions and, eventually, everyone.

But World Press Freedom Day looms once more, and ANA will be pushing the petition once more, for sure!

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