Around The Institute: Protecting The Free Press

May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day, a day dedicated to the importance of freedom of the press and to reminding governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. These principals of the free press are integral to many Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Additionally, these principals are also core aspects of several topical dialogues at the 2017 Resnick Aspen Action Forum. Our colleagues around the Aspen Institute address some of the same issues being brought up in the 2017 Action Forum; to help prime the pump for dialogue, here’s a round-up on resources and thought starters from around the institute and from other AGLN Fellows.
  • WHO ARE THEY: Aspen's Communications and Society Program seeks to encourage integrated, thoughtful, values-based decision making in the fields of communications, media, and information policy.
  • HOT OFF THE PRESS: A recent report written by the program's executive director Charles Firestone provides a five-step guide for media organizations to regain the public's trust and overcome the growing gulf between themselves and consumers.
  • LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: The challenges faced by media organizations across the globe will be discussed in a topical dialogue at the Action Forum: "Breaking News: Media world under assault?"

  • WHO IS HE: Dele is a John P. McNulty and Pulitzer Prize winning Africa Leadership Initiative - South Africa Fellow who has championed the free press for decades. He has won praise as an exceptional journalist for covering the lingering effects of the Rwandan Genocide, as well as post-apartheid elections in South Africa and corruption in Nigeria.
  • WATCH AND LEARN: This video on Dele's McNulty Prize winning media organization showcases the importance of a free press holding the powerful to higher moral standards, encouraging values-based leadership and transparency.

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: Dele strove to hold those in power to certain standards of behavior. At this year's Action Forum, the values and basic standards of behavior of the AGLN will be discussed in the topical dialogue "Values Re-Set."

  • WHO IS SHE: Sylvia is a Fellow from the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative who created Guatemala's first journalistic research team, was a prominent leader on Guatemala's National Council Against Corruption and the Free Press Commission of the Inter-American Press Society, and a McNulty Prize finalist.
  • MAJOR IMPACT: This article by Fast Company touches on several of Sylvia's strides towards protecting the freedom of the press. Her venture provided two editorial outlets, one for young Guatemalans and another for non-journalists of any age, for those without a voice to express their thoughts on youth leadership, social issues, and corruption.
  • LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: Sylvia's venture sought to give a platform for a diverse array of perspectives to have a voice in the media. The importance of diverse perspectives is explored in the topical dialogue "Bubbles and Echo Chambers: Breaking out."

These are only a few of the Fellows and one of the programs at the Aspen Institute that support a free and inquisitive press. These Fellows and programs have succeeded at finding opportunities where others see only problems. Click here to explore other Aspen programs!
Posted by Matthew Filbert on May 3, 2017 8:16 AM America/Denver