Work record

Guy Berger today works as a private consultant and expert on communications policy issues.

Before this, while employed at UNESCO (2011-2022) until retirement, Guy Berger oversaw much of the work of the Sector for Communications and Information, particularly in Freedom of Expression and Media Development. He was a D-2 director. This is the equivalent of a director-general in a civil service, reporting to the elected political layer of the organisation (in particular, to the head of UNESCO via one of her deputies). The job title changed in 2020 to Director for Strategies and Policies in the Field of Communication and Information, which expanded the scope of the field to include issues related to ICTs.

The role entailed leading strategic direction, relations with UNESCO member states and civil society partners, advising a team of approximately 40 people worldwide, managing projects, campaigns, budgets, fund-raising, research, publishing and partnerships. Areas covered by his remit have been: press freedom (on- and offline); the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (including training of judges and security forces); media development and policy; gender and media; media and information literacy; internet and artificial intelligence in relation to media; freedom of information; journalism education; hate speech and disinformation; internet governance; and media economic viability, pluralism and diversity. 

Between 1994 and 2010, Berger headed up the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, South Africa. In this period, he led a process of major expansion, including a new building in 2006 titled the “Africa Media Matrix”, the setting up of numerous outreach projects, and the successful hosting of the World Journalism Education Congress in July 2010. He was recognised as a Professor Emeritus at Rhodes University when he left the University to join UNESCO in 2011.

Between 1991 and 1994, Berger served as editor of New Era magazine and then South Newspaper (Cape Town, South Africa). Before that, he worked as a journalist based in the UK, and as a community media consultant in Johannesburg.