UN / SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS UNESCO

06-Nov-2023 00:02:30
A senior official at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sounded alarms about violence against journalists in elections. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS UNESCO
TRT: 02:30
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, United Nations Headquarters

06 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Med shot, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Chief of Section, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
“According to the International Humanitarian Law, but also the Security Council resolutions related to this issue, particularly, 2222, they should be protecting in those circumstances to do their work, and as the SG just mentioned in his opening remarks, unfortunately, this conflict is taking lots of journalists lives in an unprecedented scale compared with previous situations.”
4. Close up, journalist asking question
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Chief of Section, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
“We did special research showing violence against journalists in elections, which took place in 70 countries during the periods 2019 and 2022. 759 cases of violations of journalists’ rights including violence during those elections. Therefore, we sound the alarm considering that in 2024, as many of you know, we will have elections in at least 81 countries. So, UNESCO underlines the importance of developing measures to protect journalists’ safety when they are covering elections.”
6. Wide shot, briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Chief of Section, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
“We keep the monitoring with our partners. On the other aspect, that is the digital problems, the digital harassment, the digital safety, disinformation, hate speech, as I mentioned, we are launching the new Global Governance Guidance today with the strong chapter regarding how these companies, the internet companies, should behave also in the situations of conflicts, with very detailed indicators in this case that they should put in place an urgent process of content curation and content moderation in local languages, should reinforce the capacities of their own teams and systems on that, be transparent in the way they are doing these, should keep these records for future investigations on disinformation that is circulating online.”
8. Wide shot, briefing room
STORYLINE
A senior official at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sounded alarms about violence against journalists in elections.

Briefing journalists in New York via a video link today (06 Nov), the Chief of Section of the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, said, “According to the International Humanitarian Law, but also the Security Council resolutions related to this issue, particularly, 2222, they should be protecting in those circumstances to do their work.

He continued, “as the SG just mentioned in his opening remarks, unfortunately, this conflict is taking lots of journalists’ lives in an unprecedented scale compared with previous situations.”

Godoi also said, “we did special research showing violence against journalists in elections, which took place in 70 countries during the periods 2019 and 2022.”

According to him, 759 cases of violations of journalists’ rights, including violence, were recorded.

He continued, “therefore, we sound the alarm considering that in 2024, as many of you know, we will have elections in at least 81 countries. So UNESCO underlines the importance of developing measures to protect journalists’ safety, when they are covering elections.”

Answering a reporter’s question about the situation with safety of journalists in the Middle East, he said, “We keep the monitoring with our partners.”

He added, “On the other aspect that is the digital problems, the digital harassment, the digital safety, misinformation, hate speech, as I mentioned, we are launching the new Global Governance Guidance today.

The expert continued, “the internet companies, should behave also in the situations of conflicts, with very detailed indicators in this case that they should put in place an urgent process of content curation and content moderation in local languages, should reinforce the capacities of their own teams and systems on that, be transparent in the way they are doing these, should keep these records for future investigations on disinformation that is circulating online.”

UNESCO's action plan is the result of a consultation process on a scale unprecedented within the United Nations system, with over 10,000 contributions from 134 countries collected over the last eighteen months. Over forty pages, it outlines the principles which must be respected as well as the concrete measures which must be implemented by all stakeholders: governments, regulatory authorities, civil society and the platforms themselves.

Representatives from independent regulators have already welcomed UNESCO's initiative, and several of them - notably in Africa and Latin America - have indicated that they are ready to begin implementing these measures. To this end, UNESCO will organize the first World Conference of Regulators in mid-2024.

The publication of UNESCO's action plan is accompanied by an opinion poll conducted by IPSOS for UNESCO, with over 8,000 respondents across 16 countries where elections will be held in 2024. It shows that 85 percent of citizens are worried about the impact of online disinformation, at a time when social media platforms have become the primary source of information for a large majority of them.

The same survey indicates that 87 percent of citizens believe that this misinformation has already had a major impact on their country's political life and fear that it will influence the results of their country's elections in the next year. As a result, 88 percent are calling on governments and regulators to resolve this problem quickly by regulating social media.
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