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The Public Media Alliance will host the session “Under Pressure: Why Public Media Matters” at the inaugural Global Conference for Media Freedom, co-hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. 


There has never been a better opportunity, nor more urgent need, for public media organisations to come together and advocate for their shared principles. The core values of public media journalism underpin informed democracy. These are the values that build and sustain public trust in media.

Media freedom is being eroded worldwide and trust in media is at an unprecedented low. The global media space is dominated by well-funded social media and entertainment brands. Populism is being fuelled by disinformation and misinformation, while state capture [by governments or third-party states] is threatening the independence of national media organisations.With such challenges, there is no better time to advocate for public media, which remains one of the most trusted sources of news and information.

The Global Conference for Media Freedom offers a unique opportunity to bring together politicians, media organisations, researchers and commentators from around the globe.

Our session will feature key speakers from public media organisations to debate its importance to society and media freedom as well as the contemporary challenges it faces around the globe.

The full conference programme will be available very soon via the official conference website.

More info: Global Conference for Media Freedom

When and Where?

11:00-12:20 | Wednesday 10 July 2019

Printworks, Canada Water, London


Cilla Benkö
Cilla Benkö

Director General & CEO, Swedish Radio

Cilla Benkö was appointed Director General & CEO of Swedish Radio October 1, 2012. Since 2009 she held the position of Deputy Director General of Swedish Radio.

Cilla Benkö has been working for Swedish Radio for almost 30 years and during this period she has had several management positions. She started her work at the Sports Department and from there she went on to the news department, as a business journalist. Her journalistic career has not only involved assignments within public broadcasting. She has also worked as a freelance in New York for the Swedish commercial television and was Head of the News Department “Aktuellt”,Swedish Television.

Since 2010 Cilla Benkö is one of eleven members of the EBU Executive Board and currently Chairman of the EBU Personnel Committee. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at INSI (International News Safety Institute) as well as elected President of Prix Europa. In 2017, Cilla Benkö held the position of Chairman of the jury of UNESCO Guillermo Cano Wold Press Freedom Prize.

In 2016 she was awarded the Pontus Schultz prize for her leadership.

In 2017 she was awarded the prestigious prize Leader of the Year 2017, at the Leader Gala in Stockholm, where Sweden’s best leaders at all levels and from all industries were named.

Noel Curran
Noel Curran

Director General of the EBU & former Director General of RTÉ

Noel took up the role of Director General of the EBU in September 2017.

Noel is the former DG, Managing Director of Television and Editor of Current Affairs of RTÉ, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster. As Director General he successfully led RTÉ during one of of the most financially challenging and competitive periods in media history.

A strong and long-time advocate of public service media, Curran is also an award winning investigative journalist and Producer. As an Editor and Producer, Noel’s programming won numerous awards for journalism in Ireland and internationally.

He was also Executive Producer on a range of live television events, including the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997, general election coverage, live entertainment series and factual programming.

Alan Sunderland
Alan Sunderland

Former Editorial Director, ABC

Alan Sunderland has a forty year career working at both of Australia’s public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, as an award-winning journalist, producer and news executive. Most recently, he was the Editorial Director of the ABC and a Board Member with the Organisation of News Ombudsmen and Standards Editors.

Since leaving the ABC, he has taken up a number of roles involved in supporting and defending public interest journalism, including as Journalism Advocate with the Fourth Estate Organization in the US and a member of the Public Fund Committee of the Walkley Foundation in Australia.

Moderator: Sally-Ann Wilson

CEO, Public Media Alliance

Sally-Ann Wilson has headed the Public Media Alliance [PMA] since 2010,  leading  its transition from the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 2014.  She joined the organisation in 2001, following a 20 year career working in both the public and private media sector. After training as a producer/reporter for BBC Radio, she became a television documentary director, producing award winning social and environmental documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.  She later moved to become a Series Editor/Broadcast Executive for BBC Scotland. In 1998 she was appointed Broadcast Executive, heading a major UK/US programme output deal.

Sally-Ann founded the Masters programme in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia where she continues to lecture about the role of public media in society.

With contribution from: Deborah Bergamini

Member of the Italian Parliament, journalist and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

More information


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Header Image: TV cameras lined up, covering large public event. Credit: Microgen/istock

Image: Cilla Benkö, VD Sveriges Radio. Credit: Mattias Ahlm/Sveriges Radio