A pivotal moment to get behind professional journalism to combat disinformation

///A pivotal moment to get behind professional journalism to combat disinformation

A pivotal moment to get behind professional journalism to combat disinformation

Fiona O’Brien (UK Director RSF) ; Alex Crawford (Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent, Sky News) ; Rebecca Vincent (RSF’s Director of Campaigns) ; Deborah Bonetti (Director of London’s Foreign Press Association) ; Vanessa Tshaye (Eritrean human rights activist and film-maker).


Global World Press Freedom Index shows conditions remain tough for independent journalism

Governments – and other leading public figures – must take initiatives to highlight and empower professional independent news journalism.

‘All of society benefits when journalists are able to fully act as the eyes and ears of the public, said Andrew Moger, Chief Executive of the international News Media Coalition (NMC mission here). ‘This starts with those in authority and those with influence, as well as journalism itself, building respect for the profession, he said. ‘Rather than shoot the messenger, it’s vital that we all talk up the unique and imperative nature of good journalism. But words alone are not enough. Governments and society at large need to empower independent news gathering by providing the necessary conditions for professional journalists to seek the news, witness the news and share the news’, Moger added on World Press Freedom Day.

‘We call on them to speak out in support of quality journalism’s value to citizens and communities, to informed debate, knowledge and the fight against disinformation’.

The European Publishers Council, a member of the NMC, also used World Press Freedom Day to warn about increasing threats to the safety and freedom of journalists reporting on the climate crisis around the world (link to EPC site story).

RSF report signposts unprecedented global decline in press freedom

Today, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which also defends media freedom, journalist safety and citizen’s access to reliable information, published its Global Press Freedom Index. Its findings show that governments around the world are increasingly failing in their duty to guarantee the best possible environments for journalism.

Speaking at a press conference in London on World Press Freedom Day, Fiona O’ Brien of RSF’s London Bureau said the Index, created against the backdrop of unprecedented deaths of journalists in Gaza and an unprecedented number of elections around the world, presented a very serious situation for journalists where political support for journalists had fallen to a degree not seen before.

RSF’s rankings, drawn from journalists’ experience in 180 countries in the context of political, social, legal, economic and safety indicators, describe general deterioration across four out of five of these with the most pressure being exerted on journalists in the political context.  Just eight countries, representing less than one percent of the world’s population were found to be in a ‘good situation’ with the vast majority of countries ranking as having ‘problematic,’ or ‘difficult’ and over half the world’s population living in countries ranked as having ‘very serious ‘situations.


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