Press Freedom in Global Election Year 2024

Step Vaessen
Woensdag 4 september , 12:40 - 13:20
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium
Prijs: Gratis (Student) Gratis (Anderen)

With more than half the world's population going to the polls, 2024 is a testing year for democracy. International news correspondent Step Vaessen will discuss the importance of independent and critical journalism at a time when press freedom is firmly under pressure and the media play a vital role in informing the public and safeguarding democratic principles.

From the United States and the European countries to India and Taiwan, 2024 is an election year around the world. In 76 countries, approximately 3.7 billion people get to vote. The Netherlands already had early elections last November. As a watchdog of democracy, the media is invaluable in ensuring fair and transparent elections, but in times of political turmoil, geopolitical conflicts, manipulation and polarization, the challenges facing journalists worldwide - such as information control, intimidation, and self-censorship - grow strong. Step Vaessen calls for a renewed commitment to independent and balanced journalism to maintain public trust and strengthen democratic values.

Step Vaessen is a Senior International Correspondent with over two decades of experience in Asia and Europe, focusing on political, social, and environmental issues. She began her career with NOS TV and Radio in the Netherlands and joined Al Jazeera in 2006, heading the Indonesia bureau for over a decade. In 2019, she moved to Moscow as Al Jazeera’s English correspondent in Russia and is now based in Berlin as Roaming Europe Correspondent.Vaessen authored Jihad with Sambal, a book about the changing face of Islam in Indonesia, in 2011 and won an Academy Award for her coverage of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She was also nominated for ‘Best Documentary’ at the Singapore Asian awards for her film Trail of Murder andreceived a Bronze Telly Award in 2021 for her film Women in Belarus, a fearless cry for change. 

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