Talk on freedom of expression and online defamation

FTFEGThe Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism (FTFEĠ) and the Department of Media and Communications of the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences. University of Malta, would like to invite you to a talk entitled Freedom of Expression and Online Defamation, followed by a panel discussion. This is being held at the Dolmen Room of the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra, on Friday, 26 February, 2016, at 6.30 for 7 p.m.

The talk is one of the events commemorating the 16th anniversary of the Tumas Fenech Foundation and is being delivered by Professor Guy Berger, director of the Division of Freedom of Expression in the UNESCO Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development (FEM).

The programme for the evening is as follows:


19:00                Welcome

19:05                Report on FTFEĠ activities during 2015 

19:15                Presentation of Certificates to FTFEĠ Board of Studies

19:25                Introduction of Keynote speaker Prof. Guy Berger

19:30                Keynote address on Freedom of Expression and Online Defamation

20:15                Panel discussion chaired by Dr Ġorġ Mallia, with the participation of

 President Emeritus Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, Karl Wright,

 Professor Joe Cannataci and Dr Joe Zammit Maempel

21:30                Reception


The UNESCO Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development implements activities that promote the free flow of information. The main tasks include sensitising governments, public institutions and civil society on freedom of expression and freedom of the press, including through the celebration of World Press Freedom Day.


Notably, the Division assists UNESCO’s Member States in developing standards and legal instruments for press freedom and freedom of information in accordance with internationally recognised standards, and monitors the state of the safety of journalists, including impunity as regards violence against journalists.


The Division is also responsible for mobilising international support for the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and, in this context, for assisting UNESCO’s Member States in the development of free, independent and pluralistic media, in line with the Media Development Indicators (MDI).


It is responsible for setting standards for journalism education and for supporting the role of media in fostering inclusive dialogue, especially in conflict-sensitive situations. Moreover, the Division works in fostering media pluralism, particularly by promoting community media and fostering media and information literacy.


Professor Berger headed the School of Journalism & Media Studies at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, from 1994-2010. In November 2011, he left Rhodes to work at UNESCO as Director of Freedom of Expression. He has worked in the press and television, and has a Ph.D. from Rhodes. He was deputy chair of the SA National Editors’ Forum 2003-4, and remained an active member until 2011. Berger also authored ‘Converse’ – a fortnightly column for the Mail & Guardian online until the end of 2010.


Participation in this commemorative evening of the FTFEĠ is free of charge. Kindly advise the Hon Secretary General of FTFEĠ Malcolm J. Naudi om in case of any intention to attend by Wednesday, 24 February, 2016, at noon so that catering arrangements can be made.