On 5 and 6 October 2023, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ombudsman’s Office, and the Council of Europe in the framework of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers are holding and international conference on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists titled “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword? Meeting today’s challenges to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists”. The objective of the conference is in line with the priority of the Latvian Presidency – to strengthen freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.
In four panel discussion, the participants will address the current threats to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists and the challenges to journalism in times of war and crisis – with the war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine in the background; they will look at legal limitations to freedom of expression in times of conflict, as well as discussing the ways to strengthen resilience to disinformation and the role of independent media in that process.
The event will bring together representatives from governments, ombudspersons, international organisations active in protecting media freedom, media freedom NGOs and professional associations of journalists, including partners to Council of Europe’s Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.
At the conference, the Council of Europe will launch the Campaign for the Safety of Journalists. The campaign, to be run under the slogan “Journalists matter” and expected to last until 2027, aims to set a path for a safer, independent, pluralistic media environment by encouraging states to put in place national plans and mechanisms for ensuring the safety of journalists and, consequently, the protection of journalism and the right to access information. On 5 October, the theatrical play “They blew her up” will be staged on the assassination of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017.
The event will be live-streamed on the Conference website.