Salle I (Main)

Media as a Cornerstone for Peace - The Assault on Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Globally, there are growing concerns of Freedom of Expression and Media Freedoms as Surveillance, Censorship threaten media freedom which restricts its role and functionality. Countries and regions have diverse perspectives on roles and responsibilities of the media. The main session aims to explore the dichotomies and diversity of perspective and approach to restrictions and containment on media freedoms and also explore societies who have unadulterated media freedoms and to see if there are global social norms when it comes to media freedom and freedom of expression.

Media fulfills several roles in society, including the following:

  • entertaining and providing an outlet for the imagination;
  • educating and informing;
  • serving as a public forum for the discussion of important issues; and
  • acting as a watchdog for government, business, and other institutions.

Media has revolutionized the sharing of knowledge, impacted the moral, social, cultural fabric of a nation, impacted global, regional and national economies, impacted political systems, the rule of law, democracy, governance, religion and social consciousness.

The various mediums over the ages in which content has been disseminated has influenced mankind’s capacity to interact with its various governments, economies, commerce, politics, philosophy and culture.

As the allies of World War 1 and Germany signed the Armstice at Compiegne, France and as the nation of France commemorates Armstice day, it is useful to retrospectively examine the impact that the medium played before the war and during the war in distributing “content” or “propaganda” to shape and unify a nation to act or behave in a certain way.

As States and Businesses recognize the power that the media wields in reaching the masses, they utilize the media to harness its capacity to influence and in some cases control the way their citizens and consumers behave. With the advent of the internet and beyond the media has completely transformed and its reach to all those who are connected has also increased. With social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the capacity to distribute content at phenomenal speed has influenced consumer choices, opinions and contributed to diverse global movements. There are public policy issues that require debate, informed dialogue to help contribute towards peace and security.

Public Policy Questions

  • Is the media an appendage of established power?
  • Is the media able to adequately act as a mechanism to keep governments and business accountable?
  • What is the necessary policy environment to ensure media freedom?
  • Is Media Freedom absolute, or are there limits on freedom of expression? What are some of the implications for abuses of freedom of expression and media freedom irresponsible journalism such as dissemination of “fake news”?
  • What are some best practices in ensuring responsible journalism? Is there a global code of conduct?
  • What protections are available for the Media? How should media freedom be protected?
  • So what exactly is fake news? How should it be defined? Is it a pressing social problem that warrants government intervention? Is self-regulation instead the answer? Where do freedom of expression and press freedom fit into the equation? What are some policy controls to deal with Fake News?
  • What are some challenges that social media platforms face in tackling issues such as “fake news”? What are some initiatives that they have taken on board to promote free speech whilst ensuring that users behave responsibly?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of governments and of other stakeholders in ensuring media freedom and promoting responsible journalism?
  • What are the appropriate international organisations, frameworks and fora to tackle these issues? 


Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, Executive Director, Pasifika Nexus, Fiji

MAG Co - Organisers and Facilitators and Moderators

Mamadou Lo - Head of Communications and Information, Credit Agricole Bank, Senegal

Raquel Gatto - Regional Policy Advisor Latin America, Internet Society (ISOC), Brazil

Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, Executive Director, Pasifika Nexus, Fiji



  • Shmylah Khan, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
  • Guilherme Canela, UNESCO LAC Regional Director has been working with judges training for informed decisions on digital journalists censorship. 
  • Dr. Rasha Abdulla, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, The American University in Cairo.
  • Ankhi Das, Director Public Policy, Facebook
  • Giacomo Mazzone, Head of Institutional Relations, European Broadcasting Union, World Broadcasting Union
  • Professor Luz E. Nagle, Stetson University College of Law
  • Dr Yik Chan Chin, Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies, Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University

Remote Moderator

Adama Jallow - MAG Member (Civil Society) Give 1 Project, Gambia


Connections with other sessions at the IGF 2018?

Noting that the 2018 IGF will feature 8 Media Content workshops namely:


Hate Speech –WS 80, WS 81, WS 83

Fake News – WS 95, WS 161, WS 333, WS 415

Local Content- WS 186

There are a total of 30 persons participating as speakers in the 8 Media Content Workshops. There are 12 women, 18 men participating in these Media Content Workshops. The stakeholder diversity features 17 Civil Society, 2 Government, 2 Intergovernmental, 7 Private Sector and 2 from the Technical Community. The Regional Group breakdown of these 8 Workshops show 2 from the African Region, 11 from the Asia Pacific Region, 1 from the Eastern European Group, 1 from Intergovernmental Organisations, 2 from Latin American and Caribbean and 13 from the Western European and Others Group.  The highest number of participants,  are from the China (6), followed by United States (5), France (3), Albania, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Tunisia, United Kingdom (1).


Media & Content
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