14 May: Media Under Attack – How do journalists continue despite the dangers?

 

Journalists and filmmakers are society’s watchdogs, ensuring government accountability and informing people of what is going on in the world around them. Yet they are increasingly under pressure to report against the backdrop of bans, threats and restrictions around the world.

Press freedom and independence, availability of an unrestricted stream of information to the public, and diversity in media are all vital in the functioning of fair and just societies. How do we maintain one of the fundamental human rights, and the key to holding power to account around the world – freedom of expression?

Hosted by One World Media at EBRD, this event will bring together journalists who have had their work restricted, censored or banned, to discuss the fundamental importance of press freedom, look at the current state of press freedom around the world, and show how and why they have continued their work despite the challenges they have encountered.

Speakers:

Richard Porter

Director of Internal Communications, EBRD (Chair)

Isam Uraiqat

Co-founder & Editor, AlHudood

Rebecca Vincent

UK Bureau Director, Reporters Without Borders

Kasra Naji

Special Correspondent, BBC

Safa Al Ahmad

Freelance Journalist & Filmmaker


Doors will open for registration at 5.30pm and coffee and tea will be served. The discussion will begin promptly at 18.00, followed by a drinks reception.

Please note that all guests must bring a form of identification and may be subject to a random bag search. You should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure you have time to pass through check-in and security.

Please click here for a map and directions on how to find the venue, EBRD.

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2019
Time: 17:30 – 20:30 GMT
Location: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, One Exchange Square, London, EC2A 2JN

This event is free to attend, please reserve your place by registering at the link below.

Register here

Isam Uraiqat

Isam is the editor of the exiled pan-Arab political satire publication AlHudood, targeting the middle east and north Africa, commenting on social and political issues affecting the region. He co-founded the publication in 2013 as an alternative method to comment on the politics of the region in the post Arab-spring era. Isam has worked in various capacities in the media, working in animation for 7 years as an animation director and technical director. In the past few years he launched a writers’ studio as well as founded two startups in the tech and media field. AlHudood won the One World Media Special Award in 2018.

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Richard Porter

Richard is Director of Internal Communications and Business Information Services at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the multi-lateral development bank based in London. He’s part of the senior leadership of the Communications department, with responsibility for internal and change communications, and for the Bank’s business information services.

Prior to joining the EBRD in 2017, Richard was for many years a senior executive at BBC News. He worked as a journalist and editor in regional and national news, and then spent 13 years in its global services in executive roles. During this time he was head of the BBC World Service English radio network and was Editorial Director of both the BBC World News TV channel and the bbc.com/news digital platform. He led coverage of many major global events, including the so-called Arab Spring, the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, and the war in Syria.

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Kasra Naji

Kasra is an Iranian journalist based in London. He worked as a journalist in Tehran for a number of years during the rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad until he was repeatedly denied a press card. Naji is a special correspondent for the BBC and has reported for The Economist, The Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of 2008 book Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran’s Radical Leader, which was published by the University of California Press.

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Rebecca Vincent

Rebecca is the UK Bureau Director for Reporters Without Borders (RSF). She is an American-British human rights campaigner, writer and former diplomat with an expertise in freedom of expression. Prior to joining RSF in 2016, Vincent specialised in Azerbaijan for over a decade, and was expelled from the country in 2012 in connection with her work with local rights groups. She has coordinated a number of high profile international human rights campaigns and has published widely. She holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London and serves as a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre.

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Safa Al Ahmad

Safa is a journalist and film-maker who has directed documentaries for PBS and the BBC focusing on uprisings in the Middle East. Her film Saudi’s Secret Uprising was the first documentary of its kind to document the historically unprecedented protests in the kingdom. An investigation that took over a year was the first documentary to be jointly produced and simultaneously aired by BBC English, Arabic and Farsi. Her work on Yemen spans almost a decade and reflects the bloody trajectory of the conflicts within the country and their international impact. In The Fight for Yemen, which was produced for the BBC and PBS’s Frontline, Safa was one of the few journalists reporting to international news organizations from the ground during the crisis between Houthi rebels, militant groups, and the government. Her follow-up film Yemen Under Siege, which took a close-up look at the staggering human toll of the conflict in Yemen, took home two Emmy Awards in 2017.

She is also the winner of the 2015 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award for Journalism, the El Mundo award for journalism for her body of work in 2015, the 2015 Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) International Press Freedom Award and the Association of International Broadcasting (AIB) Best International Investigation for her film Saudi’s Secret Uprising in 2014. She was twice a finalist for the Rory Peck Sony Impact Award 2012-2014. Her writing on the Arab uprisings was published in an anthology Writing Revolutions published by Penguin which won an English Pen award.

Safa is a board member of the Frontline Freelance Register, and advocates for the safety and welfare of freelance journalists who are exposed to risk in their work.

 

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