Freedom of the press under attack worldwide


The Secretary-General is away from New York. A video of his message was rested during a ceremony in the General Gathering Hall to commemorate the 30th jubilee of World Press Freedom Day.
Prominent journalists and heads of media and human rights organizations worldwide attend the event, sharing their experiences and opinions in panels on multilateralism and freedom of expression.

Deadliest year for journalists

Delivering opening remarks, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the UN cultural agency UNESCO, which champions the defence of journalists, said 2022 was a fatal year for the profession.
Last year, 86 journalists were killed, mainly in crust war zones. “Often, they were at home with their family,” she said. Hundreds more were charged or imprisoned.
She said the level of immunity for these crimes sends a scary message because “the security of journalists is not an affair just for journalists or international company. It is a matter for society as an entire.”
Furthermore, reporters are also coming under strike in cyberspace. A 2021 report disclosed that three out of four women journalists had been sufferers of online harassment, reminding UNESCO to issue counsel for digital policy to step up protection.

Digital era dilemma

Ms Azoulay is eminent that these challenges are happening at the required moment when journalists are needed more than ever, as the arrival of the digital era has changed the entire retail landscape.
Although the Internet has unlatched new channels for detail and expression, it has also provided fertile ground for those after you to sow disinformation and plot theories.
‘A new crossroads’
“We find personally at a new crossroads,” she said. “Our current path is main us away from illuminated public debates and from the notion of a shared reality on which it depends. A path towards ever more polarization.”

She called for more significant action to ensure that information can endure a public good. She noted that UNESCO supports some 20 countries to grow educational policies in media and detail literacy in the digital era.
The agency also organized a major global congress in Paris in February to discuss draft international guidelines for adjusting digital platforms, which will be printed later this year.

Democracy under fire

“Without journalists to provide news and detail that people can depend on, I terror we will continue to see the untangling of civic bonds, the erosion of elect norms, and the weakening of the trust in institutions and each other that is so crucial to the worldwide order,” he said.
Mr Sulzberger returns on how the media landscape has developed since 1993 – a period of optimism marked by the apparent end of Cold War divisions, the emergence of chick democracies, and technological advancements in detail and connectivity. News organizations also enjoyed “historic monetary strength” and seemed well-positioned to notify the public.
‘Avalanche of misinformation’

He said the instant was short-lived as the same technology that grants journalists to reach people throughout also forced many thousands of newspapers to close, and digital outlets that emerged could not fill the void, particularly in critical local and investigative reporting.
“The Internet also releases the rockslide of misinformation, propaganda, punditry and clickbait that now engulf our detail ecosystem, often drowning out acceptable journalism and accelerating societal trust reduction,” he said.

Media censorship and control

Mr Sulzberger noted that erosion of the free press is almost always followed by democratic decline.
“And sure enough, this time of weakness for the press has coexisted with destabilized democracies and emboldened autocracies. And when autonomy erodes, you can be certain that the free pin will be the first target,” he said.
“All over the world, dictators and those who aspire to join their ranks have used ban, media quell, and strike on journalists to consolidate power. That’s because obtaining information control is crucial to gaining power over everything else,” he added.

He provided exemplars from across the globe, counting Russia, where “journalists who dare even to acknowledge the war in Ukraine profile long prison terms.”
He also highlighted the example of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was detained in Yekaterinburg last month for supposed spying, saying the erstwhile Times journalist “residue in Russian custody for sham charges and should be released.”

Support free journalism

Mr Sulzberger told UN Member States that opposing the worldwide strike on the press will only be solved if they take action.
“For nations with a dominant tradition of a free press, plus the United States, this means leaders status up to secure legal protections for independent reporters and their sources,” he said.
“For nations where describe the truth remains perilous, the global community must make clear that we’ll call out and punish the crackdowns and charge journalists no matter where they occur.”
He further emphasized the demand to address the press’s challenges, including developing explicit financial models for sustaining independent journalism.

About the author

Olivia Wilson

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