I get it. It is important for people of similar industries to meet in a global manner on a regular basis. So it is not surprising to see the BBC, the AP and Al Jazeera to team up with less reputable media outlets such as Xinhua to have a World Media Summit.
But do the news media leaders have to keep meeting in places that brutally repress independent media and actively suppress bloggers and online citizen jorunalists?
Really? All three places have no free and independent media. And the governments of all three keep tossing journalists in jail for not toeing the official line. (Comments summarized from Freedom House)
- China: China’s media environment is extremely restrictive. 2011 featured one of the worst crackdowns on freedom of expression activists in recent memory.
- Russia: Journalists are unable to cover the news freely, especially topics such as human rights abuses, corruption, organized crime, police torture, the opposition parties and the country’s economic crisis
- Bahrain: There is an ongoing campaign of intimidation by the government against journalists, bloggers, and other media workers.
I’m not saying don’t have international summits or conferences sessions that include state-run (and directed) media organizations. But how about holding a summit in a place that actually allows free press?