The issue of freedom of expression, especially in developing countries, often develops into a discussion of freedom of the press, including the issue of hate speech and hoaxes, which are often an issue in the countries. The issues were discussed by 48 participants from 11 countries attending the Global Inter Media Dialogue, or GIMD, between 23 and 25 January in FISIP UI.
The panel discussion titled “Looking Back Looking Forward: Globalizing Freedom of Expression” opened a series of activities in the international conference. Dr. Inaya Rakhmani from Universitas Indonesia was the moderator of the discussion, while the speakers were composed of Dr. Ade Armando from Universitas Indonesia, Bambang Harymurti, Managing Director of Tempo Group, and Elizabeth Eide, professor in journalism from Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
In the discussion that lasted for 120 minutes, they discussed the development of freedom of expression over the last 10 years. With a background of academics, journalists and writers, the conference participants discussed the issue of freedom of expression that occurred in developing and conflict-ridden countries, and every participant had a different emphasis on the issue depending on the conditions in their respective countries
Overall this international conference held a panel discussion with seven different issues including on freedom of expression and speech of hatred in social media, media and marginalization, counter-confrontation dialogue, as well as freedom of expression and terrorism.
Bambang Harymurti, one of the speakers from Indonesia, saw this conference as a platform to raise awareness about freedom of expression. “Such events are necessary to discuss how to solve these two problems: protecting journalists in order to do their job in a safe manner, and how in the era of the social media, the media still can be a useful reference for public information,” he said.
The GIMD conference also become a means to introduce Indonesia to the world community, through an Indonesian culinary feast and cultural exploration in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. In the recreational park, the participants observed the cultural diversity as well as the beauty of the Indonesian archipelago. The cultural visit in TMII also ended the GIMD 2017 conference event organized by the Center for Communication Studies of the Department of Communications of FISIP UI.