To coincide with World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the Foreign Affairs Committee will begin to publish video messages from journalists in different parts of the world who face challenges to their everyday work.
The Committee is currently running an inquiry to examine the potential approaches, challenges and resources available to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its quest to strengthen global media freedom and combat disinformation.
The first three video messages, relating to issues in parts of the Middle East and Africa, come from:
- Daoud Kuttab, Director General, Community Media Network, Amman, Jordan
- Khadija Patel, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Joan Chirwa, Founder and Coordinator, Free Press Initiative, Lusaka, Zambia.
It is hoped that other media workers will add their voices to the Committee's Twitter account, @CommonsForeign, during the inquiry.
Message from the Chair of the Committee
The Chair, Tom Tugendhat MP, has also recorded a video message to encourage written or spoken contributions in response to two questions:
- What are the threats facing a free media in your country or region?
- What can/should the UK’s Foreign Office do?
Watch the Committee's animation, which can be included in news coverage in advance or retweeted from the Committee's Twitter feed: @CommonsForeign
Written evidence from media and campaigning organisations has already been published on the inquiry webpage and further submissions are welcomed.
The first evidence session will take place on Tuesday 7 May at 2.45pm with the following witnesses:
- Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
- Julie Posetti, Senior Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
- Olga Robinson, Russia and Disinformation Specialist, BBC Monitoring
- Professor Jackie Harrison, UNESCO Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety, and the Issue of Impunity, University of Sheffield.