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Plenary session 3: Advocacy vs. objectivity - Media and human rights

Wednesday, 22 June 2011, 9.30 a.m., Plenary Chamber

Image: picture alliance / dpa

Campaigns against the worst human rights violations - child abuse, women trafficking, terrorism, torture and racism to name just a few - have to be checked and verified by journalists like any other story prepared for publishing. Here we are in the midst of the old dichotomy - advocacy against "traditional objective journalism".

Often NGOs and international organizations have a hard time to understand what makes journalists "tick" and why they do not hop automatically on the bandwagon of the "good cause". So what makes "correct" reporting on human rights issues?

On top of that we now face so-called "citizens´ journalism", blogs, twitter and other social media tools. How do they influence human rights reporting? Are traditional, Internet based or local and community media more useful to spread the human rights message and expose violations? What is the role of the international broadcasters in this respect?

Frank Smyth
Washington representative and journalist security coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists

Monika Hauser
Founder of Medica Mondiale

Alvito de Souza
Secretary General, SIGNIS, Belgium

Eduardo del Buey
Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat, UK

Supinya Klangnarong
Media-Policy Advocate, Thailand

Thomas R. Lansner
Professor for international media and politics at Columbia University, USA

Fred Andon Petrossians
Online editor in chief of Radio Farda, Iran editor of Harvard Global Voices , Czech Republic

Aidan White
International Media Specialist, Belgium