August 3, Wednesday (11:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST)
Media and Journalism Webinars emphasize experiential and hands-on learning through intensive training and interactive discussions with professional journalists for field experience. This program aims to prepare journalism students and young professionals to succeed in their professional careers while fostering experiential learning by translating knowledge and skills into experience.
In this session, participants will be able to learn about the Foreign Press Association and UN Reporting from professional journalists and media personalities. Your active and meaningful participation with questions and reflections will make the discussion more productive.
- Introducing Foreign Press Association
- UN Reporting
President, Foreign Press Association, USA
Ian Williams is the President of the Foreign Press Association of the U.S. for over 20 years. He is a frequent contributor to the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section and is regular columnist for George Orwell’s old newspaper, Tribune. He has also been a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, the European, The Observer, and The Independent for which he was one of the founding writers. Mr. Williams was for years a columnist for the New Statesman.
He is the anchor for a radio program, The Catskill Review of Books, on WJFF FM, and often appears on international radio and TV talking about geopolitical affairs. He has been covering international politics, business and finance for more than two decades and has reported from over sixty countries. While President of the UN Correspondents’ Association in 1995 and 1996, he inaugurated the Annual UNCA Awards for best coverage of the UN. In 1985 he won the Liverpool Press Club award for “By-line mania” when he wrote the centerfold for the Baptist Times, since then has proved how much he deserved it by writing for Penthouse and Hustler. Ian was born in Liverpool and graduated from Liverpool University.
UN Correspondent, International Reporter, USA
Stéphanie Fillion is a French-Canadian journalist specializing in foreign affairs and a United Nations Correspondent. She currently covers the UN for the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun and is a contributor to Radio-Canada, Forbes, and Foreign Policy. She has worked for Radio-Canada in Vancouver and was a San Paolo fellow at La Stampa in Turin.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism, Politics and Global Affairs from Columbia Journalism School and a B.A. in Comparative Politics, History and Italian Studies from McGill University. Her work appeared in outlets such as Quartz, Vice News, The Independent, and PassBlue. In 2015, she won the EU Canada Young Journalist Award, in 2021, the UN Correspondent Association Prince Albert of Monaco II Award for climate change reporting and an Individual Achievement Award for foreign language reporting from the Alliance for Women in Media in 2022.
Summary & Highlights
The JWF Media and Journalism Webinars’ Session 5 introduced the Foreign Press Association Promotion and UN Reporting on 3 August 2022. Journalist and journalist Yazeed Kamaldien from South Africa started the conversation by introducing the speakers.
Ian Williams has been President of the Foreign Press Association for over 20 years. He is a frequent contributor to the Guardian’s Commentary and is a regular columnist for George Orwell’s former newspaper, The Tribune. He is also a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, European, The Observer and The Independent, of which he is one of the founding authors. Mr. Williams has been a columnist for the New Statesman for years.
Stéphanie Fillion is a French-Canadian journalist specializing in foreign affairs and a United Nations Correspondent. She currently runs the UN for Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun and contributes to Radio-Canada, Forbes and Foreign Policy. She worked for Radio-Canada in Vancouver and was a San Paolo member at La Stampa in Turin. She holds an MA and BA in Journalism, Politics, and Global Affairs from the Columbia School of Journalism. He graduated from McGill University in Comparative Politics, History and Italian Studies.
Stephanie made a presentation on UN reporting and discussed various sources for UN reporting, which included spokespersons, diplomats, UN staff, retired diplomats/employees, NGO representatives, civilians, government officials, experts, media outlets and journalists (especially on the ground). Stephanie also discussed the challenges and possibilities associated with UN reporting.
Yazeed turned the floor to Ian Williams to share some of his experiences. William stated that he has been a freelancer for over 40 years. He followed as a kid, working as a reporter at the United Nations, where he also discussed his foreign policy expertise, collecting different stamps, where he learned more about different countries, such as spending a year in India for a scholarship. A real sight on the ground floor of India. Ian shared some of his life experiences, including being involved in student politics in South Africa and meeting Nelson Mandela at the United Nations.
Ian further engaged the audience by explaining that a journalist’s responsibility is to examine a story from all possible angles. Ian also discussed the Foreign Press Organization, founded in 1918 by western journalists who covered Washington as the financial capital of the world in the context of World War I and New York. After some discussion, Yazeed moved on to the Q&A Session. Participants questioned the speaker’s political correctness and sought advice based on their experience.
Stephanie stated that she needs to diversify her sources when it comes to politics and story search. He stressed that addressing the war crisis in Russia and Ukraine is one of his most difficult tasks, which he called a challenge for journalists working at the UN. Yazeed also stressed that being politically correct is not always the primary purpose of entities, but rather getting the facts right.
A participant from Sri Lanka asked Stephanie a question about getting her perspectives and advice on reporting virtually at the UN General Assembly as she received a scholarship to cover the UN General Assembly virtually. Stephanie responded by emphasizing the importance of reaching people in this situation as soon as possible. After a short discussion between the host Yazeed and the speakers, the session ended.
Foreign Press Association
The Foreign Press Foundation, the affiliate arm of the Foreign Press Association, has been the conduit for both global and national corporations to support the education and development of professional journalists for the realities of today’s media industry. Since 1993 the FPF has provided over 99 scholarships to foreign graduate students studying journalists in the United States.
United Nations Correspondence Association
The U.N. Correspondents Association, UNCA, is a professional organization of over 200 correspondents and producers from dozens of countries, representing scores of publications, news agencies, and broadcasters from all regions of the world, founded in 1948. The relationship between the United Nations Correspondents Association, as the organization representing the U.N. press corps, and the Secretary General is based on an agreement in 1955 and is recognized annually by the United Nations General Assembly, most recently, in 2018. It represents the U.N. press corps at the United Nations on issues related to coverage of the news and access to news sources. UNCA sponsors press briefings and an annual gala dinner recognizing outstanding journalism and work on humanitarian issues by prominent individuals. It is associated with the Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists, which sponsors journalists from developing countries for the duration of the annual General Assembly.
United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC)
The Department of Global Communications tells this UN story across multiple platforms, digital and traditional, to build support for the aims and work of the United Nations. Through its global operations and offices in 60 countries, DGC reaches millions of people with trusted, objective information and an inclusive message that enables the public, civil society, private sector and Member States to engage in the work of the United Nations. Communicating in more than 80 languages, the Department embodies the United Nations principle of multilingualism, extending our impact to all corners of the world.
UN Web TV
UN Web TV is the organization’s official streaming video platform for live and on-demand coverage of United Nations meetings and events. It provides the opportunity to a global audience to watch, directly from the source, uninterrupted coverage of meetings of the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Human Rights Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ) trials, Press briefings, Media Stakeouts, UN Conferences and Special events. In addition, UN Web TV makes available news and feature videos, Secretary-General’s and other UN Official’s video messages as well as promotional and other videos produced by the UN system. UN Web TV promotes the Organization’s core value of transparency.