An audience of media experts voted that journalism is alive and well in an exercise for World Press Freedom Day on Monday.
They were presented with the motion “new media is killing journalism” at the annual event.
After a vigorous debate a powerful consensus resulted in 13 voting for the motion, 43 against with four abstaining.
The event, hosted annually by the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Press Freedom Network, drew on arguments and expertise from across the world, including Iran, Mexico, Africa and the US.
In an Oxford Union-style debate Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, the NCTJ’s Kim Fletcher, who is also ex-editor of the Telegraph and Independent on Sunday, broadcaster Robin Lustig, and Nazenin Ansari, (Kayhan Publishing Iran/UK, President of the Foreign Press Association), passionately debated journalism’s future in the digital age.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Miliband restated Britain’s commitment to defending press freedom worldwide, after a year in which 172 journalists and media workers were killed doing their jobs.
The figure, highlighted on World Press Freedom Day, is the highest media death toll since 1994.
In a statement to mark Press Freedom Day, the MP said: “During the past year 172 journalists and media workers were killed doing their jobs, the highest number since 1994.
“Everyone of those deaths is a terrible blow not just for the families of those killed, but for press freedom. Today I want to re-state Britain’s commitment to promote, defend and protect the rights of journalists to do their job without fear of reprisal.”