About / À propos
Around the world, citizens are struggling to bring about an internet that is open, free and safe – that is, to abolish surveillance, control, censorship, disinformation, hate speech and threats. In some instances, politicians and civil society organizations are calling for government measures to help them achieve these goals. In other countries authoritarian regimes use internet and social media to justify repression, including measures to limit freedom of expression. Something that has become particularly visible during the covid-19 pandemic is that freedom of expression and independent media as a public sphere is a cornerstone of democracy, especially with ‘Big Tech’ and AI in mind. Such a context is crucial to the UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg.
A priority is to strengthen the efforts to contribute to a more holistic perspective regarding vital issues on freedom of expression and media in the digital age, and to strengthen the collaboration between the research society and UNESCO as well as between research and practice.
The activities of the Chair are carried out both within academia, and in politics/policy as member of expert committees/commissions national and worldwide.
Activities 2019 – 2021 (a selection)
- Organization of the UNESCO Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference in Gothenburg, 24-26 September 2019.
- Project in connection with the conference (above): Understanding Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in the Digital Age. A Question of Democracy. Knowledge, Politics/Policy and Practice. The result, a book, was launched at the Global MIL Week Conference. A collaboration between researchers, policymakers, educators, journalists, etc. representing national, regional and global levels.
- Project ‘Freedom of expression, media and gender’ – a study of the relationship between gender equality and freedom of expression.
- Organization of a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) platform at the University of Gothenburg. This project includes collaboration with national and regional as well as international stakeholders (UNESCO).
- Follow up of national work regarding a national strategy for media and information literacy in collaboration with the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO. A new high-level meeting is planned for 2021/2022.
- Efforts for an implementation of UNESCO’s Internet Universality Indicators in Sweden (contacts with different stakeholders, preparation of a financial and organizational model, etc.).