Freedom of the Press E-congress

5h00 GMT

Moderated by Michael “Micke” Godtfredsen, chair of the IFAJ Press Freedom Committee, and former IFAJ executive member from Finland, this session presents the situation of two journalists as they have taken on harassment and persecution in the course of their journalistic work. Following the presentations, Micke will moderate a discussion with the panelists and participants.

Jessikka Aro

Jessikka was born in 1980 and is a Finnish journalist. She has been working for many years at the Finnish public service broadcasting company YLE. Around 2014 she started to make her investigations on Russian internet trolls, which she saw as a threat to the freedom of speech in her home country Finland. Jessikka interviewed employees at the troll factory who created faked accounts on the internet and made fake stories. Later on, she became a victim of the trolls herself with Russian fake news sites accusing Jessikka of working for the West’s security agencies.

Jessikka’s articles on the topic led to receiving Bonnier’s Award for Story of the Year in 2016 and Bonnier’s Award for Journalism the following year. Later on, in 2019, she was to receive the International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State but this was rescinded just before the ceremony, probably because she had criticized the former president Donald Trump in public. The same year Jessikka visited Silicon Valley together with other victims of bullying to tell the bosses at Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, that they would have to take action to stop the spreading of lies on the internet.

In 2019 Jessikka’s book Putin’s Trolls was published in Finnish and then translated to at least eight languages. If you are interested you can order the book from this link:

Jessikka is also a board member of Reporters Without Borders Finland.

Photo credit: Laura Pohjavirta, Yleisradio

Daud Abdi Daud 

Daud Abdi Daud, born in 1984 at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, is the holder of a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass communication, graduated from St. Paul’s University. He is an agriculture and science journalist from Somalia and the Secretary-General of the association for Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture, SOMESHA. He has also been the representative of SOMESHA on the executive committee of IFAJ and a member of the IFAJ membership committee.

Just some weeks ago Daud fled his home country after multiple threats from extremists and government forces.

Mr Daud Abdi Daud has lived in exile for several years before, in Kenya from 2008 to 2014. During those years, he travelled now and then back to Somalia, among other reasons to defend press freedom.

Daud has recently advocated the opening of Somali Christian radio FM in Mogadishu. He is involved in the projects for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) in Somalia by working very closely with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) centre for excellence, with UN agencies and civil society organizations. In the near future, Daud hopes to be able to create an online Christian broadcast network speaking out against violent extremism in Somalia.Register NOW!

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