UN World Press Freedom Day at the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI) 03/05/06

Overview of this UNESCO Wales event by Paul Catherall.

Paul Catherall

This event was organised by UNESCO Wales and included a series of presentations on journalistic freedom and its link to poverty in the developing world. The event was introduced by Professor Michael Scott, Principal of the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education and chair of UNESCO Wales. The first speaker was Nadira Tudor, a broadcaster and producer who identified journalistic freedom as an important aspect of social justice in developing counties. Nadira described her own experiences in visiting Bangladesh with family as a child, contrasting the social freedoms enjoyed by British people with the authoritarian society of Bangladesh at that time. Professor Michael Scott continued this theme, describing the link between poverty and press freedom around the world and the importance of journalistic standards in developing countries and the UK.

The third speaker, Roshan Doug – a Professor of Poetry, discussed how press freedom was interrelated to the quality of journalism, to the voice of government and television broadcasting; Roshan asked the audience to question the values portrayed in received news coverage and the social and cultural stereotypes still present in the media, cinema and press. Roshan also discussed issues of identity for minority groups in the UK, stressing the positive impact of these cultures on British society.

The final speaker, Carole Green reiterated the link between press freedom and poverty, providing examples of UNESCO Wales activities in Nepal, where in one community, a new school has provided education for all ages, enormously improving the lives of parents and children whose daily existence is focused on making up to a thousand bricks a day by hand.

Guitar music was provided by Michel Dikoff.