Good journalism is made for times such as these. Good journalists have ensured our leaders remain accountable, their policies are scrutinised, and their promises will be kept in check as we navigate the coming months and a cautious return to optimism.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, Sunday, 3 May, we must celebrate this, recognise the sacrifices of media professionals who ensure the daily free flow of information, and hope that independent media can financially survive to help lead us into better times.
During a crisis, journalism is arguably more vital than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly placed independent media front and centre in providing verified, accurate and potentially life-saving information, particularly in countries where the government has floundered, or the COVID-19 response has been found wanting.
But to say we need journalism now more than ever masks a reality worth reiterating loud and clear – especially as we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. Independent journalism is vital, day in, day out, for everyone. Whether we are facing global catastrophe or exposing local concerns, the media’s public interest role is essential to how we understand our world and make decisions in it.
At this critical time, journalists and media professionals need our support. The measures taken in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic have accentuated the financial precarity of media worldwide, risking the survival of independent journalism and challenging the safety and economic security of media professionals.
UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Campaign 2020
UNESCO has created campaign materials in six languages that are free to use to help you mark 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. They include banners, posters, logos, social media messages and campaign messages. More to come this week – including an op-ed.
- WAN-IFRA op-ed: Please email Andrew Heslop (email@example.com) if you would like to receive the op-ed.
- All UNESCO materials is available at: en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday
- Media resources: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday/2020/mediaresources
- Check the transmission dates and find more regional and national commemorations: en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday
- Cartoons for Freedom of Expression: https://unesco.exposure.co/cartoons-for-freedom-of-expression-during-covid19
A free press contributes to the wealth of nations and the well-being of societies
To mark the World Press Freedom Day, we highlight the important leadership role for a free and independent press that seeks to report the truth, bring the facts to light and champion inclusive and fair communities. This extracted chapter from WAN-IFRA’s 2019 World Press Trends report is made freely available to explore some of the data behind why a free press is crucial to the health and well-being of society, now more than ever.
CONTACT AND INQUIRIES
Andrew Heslop, Executive Director, Media Freedom WAN-IFRA| firstname.lastname@example.org