On This World Press Day

March for press freedom in Liverpool after the attack on French paper Charlie Hebdo . Photo by Bjørn Ihler

March for press freedom in Liverpool after the attack on French paper Charlie Hebdo . Photo by Bjørn Ihler

On this world press day, a global pandemic shapes the media. In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres .”..it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories. The press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis.”

On this world press day journalists around the world are jailed and living under threat from authoritarian regimes for their work to expose the truth.

According to the press barometer by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 10 journalists and 1 media assistant has been killed so far in 2020.

231 journalists are according to RSF imprisoned, the same is true for 115 citizen journalists and 14 media assistants.

This year we have also seen journalists in several places jailed and threatened for reporting on the outbreak of Covid19.

The RSF has launched a series of video interviews with Rana Ayyub, Edward Snowden and Joseph Stiglitz to mark the day. You can find the interviews here.

UNESCO will tomorrow hose an Online High-level Dialogue on Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 context. To mark the day they are have also hosted an international design competition called “Journalism without Fear or Favour”.

In a world where the truth is under constant threat, and those who dare speak truth to power we mourn the journalists who have lost their lives, and the people who live without freedom of expression, the freedom to investigate or speak up against injustice. A central pillar for liberty is freedom of expression and we will continue our struggle to push for that freedom to expand in the year to come.

laihiu / LAI Ryanne – https://www.flickr.com/photos/laihiu/4653503926/

  • Bjørn Ihler is the founding Editor in Chief of Activism Academy and co-founder of The Khalifa-Ihler Institute, the organization behind the academy. Ihler has a long track record as a contributor to multiple international publications and is a well renowned activist working among others with the Kofi Annan Foundation to counter violent extremism.