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Author: Olga Komarova | 20. November 2019

Given the intrinsic relationship between journalism and digital technology in today’s world, shaping the digital policy agenda has become a key strategic priority for our community. Much has happened this year in this space, including GFMD joining the Global Network Initiative (GNI), becoming part of the Christchurch Call Advisory Network, and much more.

Next week, our yearly activities will culminate at the 14th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held from 25-29 November at the Estrel Congress Center in Berlin and hosted by the Government of Germany. Building on our past success at the IGF in 2017 and then in 2018, this IGF is expected to gather more than 2,000 participants – an ideal opportunity to amplify journalism and news media voices within digital policy-making.

For anyone unfamiliar with Internet governance, the IGF is an annual event held under the auspices of the U.N. that facilitates multi-stakeholder discussion about digital policy and the evolution of Internet technologies. Internet governance refers to the processes, fora, and conversations happening around the world that involve stakeholders from multiple sectors – including governments, the private sector, civil society, and more – debating, collaborating, and at times, clashing over digital policy and the future of the Internet. More specifically, the UN established the IGF to serve as an advisory body, addressing global trends, legislation, and regulation, while offering a space for stakeholders to meet on equal footing.

To kick-off our engagement next week, we are co-organising the third-annual Day 0 Media Development and Internet Governance Symposium on Monday, the 25th, at 13:00 with three of our members: the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), Deutsche Welle Akademie, and WAN-IFRA. Rasmus Nielsen from the Reuters Institute at Oxford University will deliver a keynote address, followed by stories shared from speakers representing journalism and news media organisations from Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Serbia. The event is open to all, but we ask that you register in advance so we know how many to anticipate.

This year’s IGF is particularly special because on Wednesday, the 27th, at 16:40, we will officially launch a new initiative within the IGF that GFMD established earlier this year: The Dynamic Coalition on the Sustainability of Journalism and News Media (DC-Sustainability).

Having emerged as a key recommendation in the issue paper we launched at last year’s IGF, the coalition is meant to be a hub for the journalism, news media, journalism support, and media development sectors to engage with important Internet governance and digital policy matters. In addition to communicating to the wider IGF community why we need their support in order to safeguard press freedom, media plurality, and media sustainability, it will also include a keynote address by Hossein Derakhshan. You can find more information about it on the official Sched page for the IGF.

Bear in mind that on-site registration for the IGF will be available as of 22 November, and more information can be found on the official IGF 2019 website.

We hope that next week will mark a new era of engagement of our sector in digital policy discussions, and we invite you to join us and help realise that goal. For more information about our Internet governance activities, check out our Internet Governance Resource Centre or join the DC-Sustainability mailing list to receive the latest updates.

See you in Berlin!


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