Norway Will Increase Funding By USD 3 Million To Independent Media

Norway will increase funding by USD 3 million to enhance
freedom of expression and independent media in countries of conflict and where
journalists are under threat.
    Norwegian Deputy Minister for Culture and Church Affairs
Wegard Harsvik said the Norwegian government was keen to support independent
media efforts in fighting corruption, promoting democracy, good governance,
diversity and cultural tolerance.
    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the third Global
Inter-Media Dialogue (GIMD) in Bali, Indonesia, this week, Harsvik said
journalists seeking to report truth both in conflict and non-conflict areas
were at risk, thus needed to be supported.
    He said in recent years there had been a dramatic increase
in the killings of journalists.
    A report issued by Reporters Without Borders showed that
last year alone, 86 journalists and 20 other media workers were killed.
    Harvisk reiterated his government\’s resolve to seek
appropriate ways of supporting independent media as an international agenda.
    ”We will do so together with countries that share our
approach”, he said.
    The Norwegian government is currently sponsoring media
projects in Middle East and East Africa and will also support the Global
Investigative Journalism Conference to be held in Norway this September.
    He said Norway would also sponsor GIMD on freedom of
information which will take place in Oslo, Norway, in 2009.
    The event is being organized jointly by the Freedom of
Expression Foundation (PEN) of Norway and the International Freedom of Expression
Exchange (IFEX).
    Speaking at the same occasion, Indonesian Minister for
Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda urged media practitioners across the world to
work towards creating a better world for all by being sensitive to diversity.
    He said: ”A better world will come about when we all have
learned to accept and appreciate the immense variety of the human race”.
    The GIMD is an annual event initiated and sponsored jointly
by the Indonesian and Norwegian governments after controversial cartoons
published in 2006 that depicted Prophet Muhammad in an extremely irreverent
    The cartoons set emotional reactions all over the Muslim
world, leaving more that 139 people in different countries dead.


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