Northern Ireland media key to ensuring good government

Amnesty International has today hosted its annual Human Rights and Journalism panel discussion on current human rights issues being debated in the press and the importance of investigative journalism in reporting stories that would otherwise remain untold. 

The event, part of Feile an Phobail, featured Mandy McAuley of the BBC Spotlight programme; Chris Moore of The Detail website; and Steven McCaffery, Deputy Editor of Press Association Ireland and a Q&A with audience.

Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaigner, said:  “Amnesty knows all too well that journalists are often key players in the human rights struggle around the world. By turning a spotlight on injustice, they help expose abuses and draw attention to human rights issues.

“In some countries it is sadly not unusual for journalists to be threatened, attacked, imprisoned or even killed – as those with something to hide seek to silence those who would publish the truth. Northern Ireland saw this with the 2001 murder of Sunday World reporter Martin O’Hagan and other attacks on journalists and media organisations.

“Today Northern Ireland journalists continue to play a vital role, whether by carrying out important investigations of criminal activity, or by holding government Ministers and officials to account for their decisions. The last year has seen some brilliant forensic reporting by the media in Northern Ireland as our journalists have continued to fulfil a crucial public service.’’

''Freedom of the press is a vital part of the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by international human rights law and it must be a non-negotiable and crucial part of Northern Ireland’s future.”

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