DMU journalism student only person in UK to be invited to put a question to the United Nations on World Press Freedom Day

A journalism student says it was ‘an amazing feeling’ to be the only person from the UK selected to ask a question at a United Nations conference marking World Press Freedom Day.

Third year De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student Kira Gibson was alerted to the invitation to submit questions to the UN on the DMU Journalism Twitter page, so she sent in her entry and thought nothing more of it.

KIra - portrait picture

Kira Gibson (pic by Kirstie Mokler)

Then just before the conference, held virtually in New York last week, Kira says she ‘literally screamed with delight’ when she opened her emails to be told she had been selected to put her question to an esteemed panel.

After the conference, Kira, from March, in Cambridgeshire, said: “I really can’t get over the fact that I spoke at a conference at the UN. It is an amazing feeling.

“It is something that is forever going to be on the internet and something that I can post on my CV. It’s fair to say my friends and family are pretty proud of me. I wasn’t just the only student to ask a question, I was also the only person in the UK to ask a question.”

Kira’s question to a panel of journalists and academics wanted to know how to bring back trust in news organisations and to start trusting what journalists are saying following years of misinformation.

Sukirti Dwivedi, a senior correspondent for New Delhi TV, replied that in order to have unbiased news we need organisations to have economic freedom, not rely on advertising so much and combat misinformation on social media.

KIRA - UN question pic

Kira puts her question to a UN panel at the virtual conference

“I guessed there would be hundreds of other students doing the same and sending off a question,” Kira said, ‘But I am so glad I picked up the post from my lecturers on the DMU Journalism Twitter account.

“They tell us to follow Twitter as it is a source of opportunities and stories and they are right.”

Kira is now looking to a career as a writer.

She said: “If all goes according to plan I aim to be working at a newspaper or magazine somewhere writing features.

“But I would also like to do a master’s degree in journalism at DMU. I know all the lecturers and have had such an enjoyable time.

“The course and the lecturers have brought me out of my shell. One of the favourite parts of the course was when I wrote about a campaign to get asthma inhalers free on the NHS.

“I want to use my position as a journalist to have a campaigning voice and highlight issues. Journalists have a platform to do that and I want to make a difference.”

World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, is a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

It is also a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom and a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.



Posted on Tuesday 10th May 2022

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