About the Global Conference for Media Freedom

The Global Conference for Media Freedom in 2019 will be the first of its kind. It will take place 10 to 11 July 2019 in London.

Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Jeremy Hunt, the UK Foreign Secretary, will co-host the conference. It is part of an international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom and increase the cost to those that are attempting to restrict it.

The conference will be structured around 4 themes:

  • protection and prosecution, including impunity
  • national frameworks and legislation
  • building trust in media and countering disinformation
  • media sustainability

Global leaders, representatives from the media industry, journalists, civil society and academia will gather to attend interactive panel discussions. The first day will focus on defining the challenges, the second on framing solutions. Commonwealth Foreign Ministers will also meet to discuss media freedom.

Conference agenda

The following sessions will be taking place:

Day 1:

  • transforming media development
  • launch of Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression
  • trust in the media: the UK in focus
  • media freedom in the Americas: challenges and opportunities
  • media freedom in the Western Balkans and new ways of working
  • media ownership is media independence: a debate
  • regional mechanisms on the safety of journalists
  • under pressure: why public media matters
  • safety of female journalists
  • media donor event
  • innovation to end journalist murders
  • safety and protection of journalists 1: understanding the contemporary threats
  • supporting media freedom in challenging environments
  • protecting journalists in conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa
  • international partnership for information and democracy
  • media freedom: journalists under threat

Day 2:

  • national statements
  • what is media freedom: why is it important?
  • what can governments do to increase media sustainability?
  • taking a stand: how we defend media freedom
  • regional session: laws, lies and liberty – the landscape of media freedom in South-East Asia
  • media freedom campaign: towards 2020 - sustaining the impact
  • navigating disinformation
  • safety and protection of journalists II: towards a shared solution
  • regional session: strengthening media freedom across the commonwealth
  • legal panel
  • religion and the media: telling the untold story
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments
  • press freedom, development and democracy in Africa
  • Council of Europe parliamentarian session

View the full conference agenda.

If you are a member of the media and would like to apply for accreditation to cover the conference, please apply and complete your application by 5 July. We will consider bids to interview the Foreign Secretary and the Canadian Foreign Minister, and will make a full breakdown of media opportunities available closer to the conference.

About Media Freedom

A free and independent media plays a vital role in protecting human rights and holding the powerful to account. Media freedom is the lifeblood of democracy and can be the foundation for economic prosperity and social development. It means that society can be free, fair and open. Journalistic scrutiny is an essential part of a vibrant and healthy democracy.

The world is becoming a more hostile place for journalists. Reporters Without Borders called 2018 the deadliest year on record for journalists. UNESCO confirms that at least 99 journalists were killed, a further 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage. Freedom of expression is being stifled and barriers are preventing the functioning of an independent media. We must address this and the dangers it presents.

Find out more: media freedom around the world

media freedom around the world

The Global Conference for Media Freedom will bring together global leaders, government officials, multilateral agencies, civil society organisations, academics, editors, publishers, and journalists to debate the issue and take international action.

Facts and figures about media freedom

This information is sourced from organisations including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and UNESCO: