A five-day online journalism workshop “Reporting on Internet Governance Forum” was launched in IRFS Press Center today. The training course, organized by the Expression Online Initiative and DW-AKADEMIE, is run by Deutsche Welle project manager Toma Tasovac and trainer Sonia Phalnikar.
The goal of the project is to introduce the Internet Governance Forum and discuss internet-specific approaches to covering that type of topic. While the participants will have a chance to reflect on the nature of online journalism, discuss genre issues, multimedia content etc, the workshop will be heavily praxis-oriented. Participants will plan, research and publish a web assignment on the course website during the workshop. The training will include discussions on the following topics: (i) Press, radio, TV and Internet: similarities and differences, (ii) Typical features of online journalism, (iii) Target groups and consumer behavior, (iv) IGF and its function, Internet research and its pitfalls, Evaluating resources, (v) Writing for the Web, Article structure, Text optimization for screen reading and so on.
Today the Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety and IMS held a conference titled Five Months before the Internet Governance Forum: Internet Freedom in Azerbaijan. IMS project manager Gulnara Akhundova announced that the conference kicks off a new initiative to ensure internet freedom in Azerbaijan, where the number of the internet users is 3 million. She noted that the IMS supports the promotion of the freedom of expression and free internet journalism strategies, and fights any censorship on online TV and radio. According to IRFS director Emin Huseynov, the campaign will provide monthly conferences involving experts, representatives of government and commercial organizations, social media and mass media activists. The authors of the campaign believe that by means of discussions they will manage to produce recommendations to the government on the promotion of internet freedom. “Our work will not be limited to it, we will use other ways to draw attention to this problem” said Rasul Jafarov, one of the organizers of the Sing for Democracy campaign held on the occasion of Eurovision 2012 song contest. The head of the Azerbaijani National Project on Internet Governance Forum, Nariman Hajiyev, does not agree with the criticism of state Internet policy. He believes that in recent years Azerbaijan has made a breakthrough in the development of information technology and the Internet. The coming internet governance forum in Azerbaijan will be used as an accelerant for this process. The issue of Internet governance has been included the agenda at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. Final document of the meeting, “Program for the Information Society” was adopted in Tunis. The first conference on internet freedom can stimulate the work of the Baku IGF. Presentations and discussions covered various aspects of the Internet: access to internet, freedom of expression and the degree of state intervention in the process. IREX representative Ali Novruzov, said that two phobias were noted in regard to Internet freedom: use for selfish and nefarious purposes, and the need for government intervention in the governance of the Internet. He supported the proposals made by several supporters of internet freedom on the necessity for a minimum of government interference, and transmission of the network to commercial structures.
We have set up a working group to investigate, expose and analyze the areas such as
internet accessibility, access to information and implementation of e-governance and
freedom of expression on the internet in a rigorous, objective manner.
The group is comprised of the following experts:
Emin Huseynov, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman and rights defender.
Role in Expression Online: ICT expert, specialized in the areas of filtering and technical
restrictions; and monitoring of progress in technical infrastructure including both mobile and
Rashid Khajily, Media Rights Institute Director and media lawyer. Role in Expression Online:
an expert to advice on legal framework.
Bakhtiyar Khajiyev, social media and ICT expert. Role in Expression Online: An expert to e-
Ali Novruzov, social media guru. Role in Expression Online: an expert to study self-
censorship practices and make an audience research.
Rasul Jafarov, Human Rights Club chairman, rights defender. Role in Expression Online: an
expert to monitor situation with freedom of expression online.
Expression Online initiative is a consortium of freedom of expression organizations. These organizations are: Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Human Rights Club (HRC) and Azerbaijan Media Center (AMC).
Our vision is Azerbaijan where general public enjoys access to free and unlimited internet. Our mission is to promote internet access and freedom in Azerbaijan. Here is how we do it:
- Advanced on-going research exploring internet accessibility, access to information and implementation of e-governance and freedom of expression on the internet in a rigorous, objective manner; investigating the consequences of current and anticipated government’s “trends” in filtering and restriction practices, and their implications for democracy and transparency.
- Development and deployment of a suite of core recommendations/tools for the guarantee of freedom and accessibility on/of the internet; and
- Capacity-building among networks of local advocates and researchers, enabled to access more readily (through training and resources) the vast repertoire of experiences and expertise in promotion of free internet practices
We are a consortium of freedom of expression organizations. These organizations are: Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Human Rights Club (HRC) and Azerbaijan Media Center (AMC). Our goal is to broaden diversity of available information empowering citizens in acting as a potent weapon against lack of democracy and transparency. Our objective is to develop best practices and promote informed public dialogue for advancing internet access and freedom in Azerbaijan.… Continue reading this article
Human Rights and the Internet governance have to go hand in hand,” was the theme of the IGF pre-event held in Baku on November 5, on the eve of the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The pre-event was organized by the Expression Online Initiative which is a consortium of local freedom of expression organizations: the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), the Human Rights Club and the Media Center. The pre-event was attended by representatives of the Azerbaijani government, civil society and media, international organizations and experts. In her welcome speech to participants IMS program manager Gulnara Akhundova noted that the purpose of the pre-event is to draw the attention of the IGF community to the internet related issues in Azerbaijan as well as to the opinions of the local civil society regarding the state of the online expression in Azerbaijan. “Internet freedom is rather a global than a local issue” said Akhundova. “The Internet has become an integral part of our lives,” said the OSCE Special Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic. According to her, the July 6 2012 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet is an important step in the international effort to protect the freedom of the Internet. Mijatovic said that some countries are filtering and blocking contents on the pretext of protecting the public interest, national security, the fight against terrorism, extremism and hate speech. Too often, however, these measures are used to silence critical voices. Concerning the situation of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, Mijatovic appreciated the government’s “open doors” policy. She pointed out that many of those, whose arrest is a concern, have now been released: Eynulla Fatullayev, Emin Milli, Adnan Hajizadeh, Jabbar Savalan, Zaur Gurbanli, and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. However, there still are other journalists and bloggers in custody. Mijatovic strongly believes that persecution and harassment of journalists as well as other kinds of pressure against them is inadmissible. IRFS Director Emin Huseynov presented two reports that analyze the state of internet freedom and freedom of expression in Azerbaijan in the run-up to IGF 2012. According to Huseynov, the government states that the internet is completely free, denying existing problems. Civil society activists believe that the Internet in Azerbaijan is partly free and there are cyber-dissidents in the country. Journalists, human rights activists, bloggers have been arrested for their on-line expression.