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Colloque "The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World", 16-17 Février, Room IV, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

The conference “The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World” aims to gather leading media representatives, professional and “citizen” journalists and media law experts to exchange views on these issues and to discuss good practices in traditional professional journalism and citizen journalism in the digital era.

With a stunning 2 billion persons estimated to be using the Internet and producing 156 million public blogs in 2011, there has been a surge of social networks, user-generated content and micro-blogging that has enabled all Internet users to become public communicators. Along with the spread of the Internet, WikiLeaks’ release of a massive number of classified government documents and its initial collaboration with traditional news media has modified the media landscape and raised crucial questions for journalism.

The WikiLeaks episode raised many issues related to freedom of expression, freedom of information, national security, privacy and ethics. The WikiLeaks developments raise basic questions about how journalists do their jobs. The conference aims to explore a wide range of new questions for traditional media and journalism posed by the WikiLeaks phenomenon :

How can journalists deal with the massive explosion of primary source data made available on the Internet ? Should journalists’ roles and their professional and ethical standards be reconsidered ? What is the relationship between “citizen journalism” and traditional journalistic professionalism ? What are the challenges for international and domestic law related to privacy, national security, public order and Internet freedom ? What is the future of government-media relations ?

Following a conference organized by the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) and the World Association of Newspaper (WAN-IFRA) at UNESCO HQ on “New Media : The Press Freedom Dimension” in February 2007, there is a need to explore further the future of traditional media and professional journalism -with their established practices, traditions and standards- as challenged by the emergence of new actors and approaches like WikiLeaks.

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