‘Media Freedom Needs Collective Defence Across G20 and World’: G20 Editors to Hold M20 Summit

The M20 Media Freedom Summit is being held online today, September 6, at 6:30 pm IST.

New Delhi: Editors and journalists from Australia (Crikey), Brazil (Folha de Sao Paulo and Nexo Jornal), Canada (Globe and Mail), France (Mediapart), India, Italy (La Repubblica), Indonesia (Tempo), Japan (Kyodo News), South Africa (Herald), South Korea (Chosun Ilbo), Turkey, the United Kingdom (Financial Times) and the United States of America (Axios) – all members of the G20 – as well as from Lebanon (Raseef22, representing independent Arab media) and Myanmar Now from Myanmar (an exemplar of extreme repression on the media), will hold an online meeting of the M20 on Wednesday to discuss the challenges faced by the media in their respective countries and regions.

The purpose and timing of the M20 Media Freedom Summit is to ensure that the media’s shared concerns about press freedom across G20 member countries do not get ignored when the G20 leaders meet in New Delhi for their annual Summit on September 9-10, 2023.

Collectively emphasising the importance of freedom of the press and finding ways to help each other defend this freedom is critical at this time since the media is coming under legal, political and financial pressure in many G20 countries, said the M20 Organising Committee, an ad hoc body with 10 editors from India and a former judge of the Supreme Court as its members.

Because of the restrictive policies of the government of India – with conference visas and journalist visas subjected to prohibitive levels of scrutiny – the M20 meeting had to be organised as an online event. The editors joining today are spread across nine time zones. The event will begin at 6:30 pm IST and last three hours.

The M20 Organising Committee comprises the following members, acting in their individual capacity and not necessarily representing the organisation to which they belong:

  1. Anuradha Bhasin, Editor ,Kashmir Times (Jammu)
  2. Dhanya Rajendran, Editor, The NewsMinute (Bangalore)
  3. Gurbir Singh, Member, Press Council of India (Mumbai)
  4. Justice Madan Lokur (Delhi), former judge of the Supreme Court of India
  5. M. Gunasekaran, Editor-in-Chief, Sun News (Chennai)
  6. Mrinal Pande, former Editor, Hindustan (Delhi)
  7. Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Review (Imphal)
  8. R Rajagopal, Editor, The Telegraph (Kolkata)
  9. N Ram, Former Editor, The Hindu (Chennai)
  10. Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor, The Wire (Delhi)*
  11. Suman Gupta, Resident Editor, Jan Morcha, Lucknow.

* convener