Journalists’ groups meet in London to mark 20th anniversary of UDHR

Concluding day of ceremony aims to encourage ‘international and regional support for journalists of all kinds’

Four of the world’s leading journalism associations have gathered in London to highlight the deteriorating conditions in which journalists work and attempt to garner worldwide support for press freedom.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Global Editors Network (GEN) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA-GEN) – The Global Press Freedom Awards (GFPFA) – have convened on 22 May in London.

During a day-long programme, journalists and editors will discuss rising threats against journalists and secure pledges of support for both the current World Press Freedom Index and the GFPFA’s campaign to mark the 20th anniversary of the protection of journalists’ fundamental human rights through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

As well as recognising good work by individual journalists, the ceremony also aims to demonstrate the positive impact of media organizations and the methods by which they develop and overcome their challenges.

Media representative body the IFJ will bestow the International Press Freedom Award on the Guardian and Observer. The prize is given annually to individuals who through their actions have made a particularly positive contribution to the protection of press freedom. It recognises an individual whose work has made an exceptional contribution to protecting media freedom.

The IFJ awards also recognise the efforts of organisations to do right by their journalists. The Guardian, Observer and Guardian News & Media – with notable support from the Knight Foundation and ProPublica – are demonstrating a global commitment to the safety and security of their journalists, to the protection of their sources and to freedom of expression.

Also during the ceremony, WAN-IFRA will present the Rights for Journalists Award to Al Jazeera journalist Mariam al-Bahri, who has been fighting for the freedom of her colleagues since she was tortured by Jordanian security forces. Al Jazeera has received numerous awards for its coverage of the migrant crisis, including for its human rights series Paradise Lost, for its award-winning Gaza documentary, for special coverage of the Ebola crisis and for its coverage of the ‘no fly zone’ for female journalists.

The awards evening is also addressed by Liam McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief of IHT and Head of the WHO European Journalism Centre and will feature remarks by Hady Amr, deputy secretary general of the IFJ and Agnes Callamard, the first woman president of the UN Human Rights Council.

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