Area Storsalen
Organizer ISFiT
Date 13. February 2023
Time 18:00 - 19:30
Ticket Free entrance
Age limit 18 (student), 20 (non-student)

ISFiT: Press freedom under pressure // Storsalen

What consequences do journalists' inability to report freely on societal conditions have?

Journalists' ability to freely be able to report on societal conditions is fundamental in any and every democracy. Their reports on various issues are vital to inform the citizens about the government’s actions and to hold them accountable to the people. This makes press freedom a pillar in a well functioning democracy. Nevertheless we see that press freedom is under vicious attack around the world. Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index of 2022 shows that a record number of 28 countries are ranked as “very bad”. What kind of consequences does this have for democracy? How did we get here, and what are the solutions?

To discuss these important questions we have Aleksandra Guliaeva from the 2023 Student Peace Prize winner DOXA Magazine, Sergey Bondarenko, member of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization Memorial,the former UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, as well as Eivind Vad Petterson, State Secretary to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Guy Berger

Guy Berger is the former UNESCO Director For Freedom of Expression and Media Development. In his ten years with UNESCO, he worked globally for freedom of the press and the protection of journalists under violent threats. In his youth, he was jailed for fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa.

DOXA Magazine - Aleksandra Guliaeva

Aleksandra Guliaeva is an editor at DOXA Magazine. DOXA Magazine is the winner of the 2023 Student Peace Prize. They are an online, student-led magazine founded in 2017 in Moscow. Their work is exposing corruption and sexual harassment at universities, documenting state persecution, and fighting government disinformation. In spite of Russia’s increasing authoritarianism, DOXA continues to fight for freedom of the press and freedom of expression, even though they are faced with threats and persecution. Their work has shown to the world the reality and consequences of Russian censorship as they report on the situation for students who are politically persecuted, censored due to their academic work, or expelled from institutions for raising criticism.

Sergey Bondarenko

Sergey Bondarenko is a historian, editor and volunteer member of Memorial. Memorial is one of Russia’s oldest and most profiled human rights organizations. The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 for their work towards strengthening society and awareness amongst the population surrounding the understanding of authority, democracy and individual human rights. Memorial works continuously to inform and confront human rights violations in Russia by acknowledging Russia's authoritarian past, while disseminating information about the persecution happening today.

Eivind Vad Petersson

Eivind Vad Petersson is State Secretary (Deputy Minister) to Anniken Huitfeldt, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Petersson has previously been a foreign and defense political advisor with the Labour Party, and has been a diplomat at the Norwegian embassies in South-Sudan, South-Africa and Germany.

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