UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy
Description and Mandate of the Chair
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, misinformation, conspiracy theories, 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 the Internet giants in mind.
Such a context is crucial to the UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg.
Today, the media and communication field is broad and characterized by diversity and extensive specialization. At the same time, the challenges society faces are complex and understanding them requires considerable knowledge.
It is important to collect, broaden and deepen our knowledge if we are to emerge on progress in the field of media development, freedom of expression and freedom of the press from human rights and democratic perspectives.
The overriding long-term objective of the Chair on Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy is to contribute to a more holistic view 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, politics and practice.
In this perspective, the specific objectives are as follows:
- Contribute to an elaboration of key issues related to freedom of expression, media and policy.
- Stimulate learning processes and cross-cultural empirical research projects.
- Contribute to a forward-looking research framework.
The core of the Chair’s activities is networking, conferences, expert meetings and publications. Target beneficiaries on national, regional, international levels are the research community, experts, policy-makers, media professionals and students.