Freedom of Expression or “Why This Blog?”

“Freedom of expression is one of our most precious rights. It underpins every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity. Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for its exercise.”

– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

Today, on 3 May 2013, the International World Press Freedom Day, UNYANET is proud to officially open its blog for the public. Announced at the General Assembly 2012, this blog will give our members as well as guests and experts the opportunity to present their thoughts, ideas and projects to a wider audience. Let me share some thoughts about why we at UNYANET decided to start this blog especially at this important day, when we celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom andĀ pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.Twenty years ago, the General Assembly proclaimed the World Press Freedom Day, following a recommendation adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 1991, also known as the Windhoek Declaration. Today, in 2013, the options to get informed about the events all around did not only increase for nearly everyone but also with regard to the diversity and time. Never before in the history of mankind has it been possible to get real-time information about events that take placeĀ hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Additionally, anyone can create their own web page to share one’s thoughts with everyone interested.

At the same time, organizations, governments and companies are trying to censore the internet as well as to publish misleading information. Bloggers, who are writing about the situation in their country are getting arrested, vanish or get killed while in other cases, the internet simply gets blocked or filtered. In a nutshell: While the options of getting informed and having the option to express someone’s opinion are greater then ever before, the danger that this freedom is being restricted is as real as it has been in the past.

The massive amount of news created every second can make it difficult for the individual to present his opinion or thought, especially if he doesn’t have an organization backing him up. We at UNYANET, confronted with the fact that our members have an enormous amount of knowledge and expertise, decided to establish this blog as a response to this situation. The blog will benefit from the various connections and platforms of UNYANET to promote every article published. Our experts will review every article and help the authors wherever possible. We have high standards but we are sure that our writing tips will be helpful when writing for the first time. Due to our connections to other instutions like UNDPI, we are getting informed about interesting topics that someone could write about.

After all, we are looking for your opinion, comment and analyze on the topics you are interested in. While we can’t publish everything, we will definitely read every article we get. This blog is your chance to present your work and ideas to the world and maybe even get some feedback or, who knows, start a change. Maybe, it will your article that will be quoted and debated all around world.

Now, it’s your turn: Send us an article and be the first one to get published.

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Former Member of the Presidency of UNYANET, PhD student at the London School of Economics (LSE)

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