Press Freedom

Incitement to Violence Is Rarely Explicit – Here Are Some Techniques People Use to Breed Hate

As senators plan for an impeachment trial in which former President Donald Trump is accused of inciting his supporters to mount a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, global concern is growing about threats of violent unrest in multiple countries, including the U.S. The United Nations reports the proliferation of dangerous speech online represents a “new era” in conflict.

“Saving Journalism: A Vision for the Post-Covid World”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists everywhere are feeling the consequences; job cuts, layoffs and closures have swept the world.

“In Zimbabwe there is Freedom of Speech, but no Freedom After the Speech”

A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.

Targeting Journalists Takes a Toll on ‘societies as a Whole’ – UN Chief

When journalists are targeted, “societies as a whole pay a price”, the UN chief said on November 2, 2020, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Twitter, Donald Trump, and Incitement to Violence

Over the last four years, United States President Donald Trump has had in Twitter his main political communication tool. On this technological platform, he spread messages that were not entirely true, insulted and disqualified people, fired, or mocked his collaborators. Twitter was a stage for his sort of presidential reality show.

Stand Tall, UN Humanitarians

Most people around the world were glad to see the back of 2020: From the devastating bushfires in Australia to the plagues of locusts through East Africa stretching across Arabia to Pakistan, extreme weather, melting ice sheets at the poles, and Covid-19 that still engulfs the globe.

A Decade after the Arab Spring, Tunisia Fails to Keep up with the Process of Democratisation

Ten years ago a young street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself afire in the central Tunisian provincial town of Sidi Bouzid to protest against police harassment. Bouazizi’s sacrificial act served as a catalyst and inspired the Tunisian people to take over the streets that led to the Jasmine Revolution in the country. On January 4, 2011 Mohamed Bouazizi died, and ten days later the country's authoritarian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s rule ended when he fled to Saudi Arabia.

Online Violence, Fueled by Disinformation and Political Attacks, Deeply Harms Women Journalists

An alarmingly high number of women journalists are now targets of online attacks associated with orchestrated digital disinformation campaigns. The impacts include self-censorship, retreat from visibility, an increased risk of physical injury, and a serious mental health toll. The main perpetrators? Anonymous trolls and political actors.

If Your Civic Space is Closed, your Human Rights Dissolve

On Human Rights Day, civil society calls for the protection of civic space as a fundamental freedom, as more than 80% of the world’s population live in countries where civic space is closed, repressed or obstructed.

Journalists covering conflict, essential workers for a ‘durable peace’ says Guterres

Reporters and other media workers in warzones across the world, are reliable witnesses who contribute to forging peace, and must be better-protected under international humanitarian law, said the UN chief on Wednesday.

Venezuela, Twitter, and Crimes Against Humanity

In mid-September, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the renewal, for another two years, of the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission to determine and document the existence of crimes against humanity in Venezuela, under the government of Nicolás Maduro.

UNESCO sounds the alarm on global surge in attacks against journalists covering protests

A new UNESCO report highlights a sharp increase in the global number of protests during which the police and security forces violated media freedom in the first half of 2020. Between January and June this year, 21 protests around the world were marred by violations of press freedom, including protests in which journalists were attacked, arrested and even killed.

TikTok, Trump and the Need for a Digital Non-Aligned Movement

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in the U.S.’ stance towards tech companies from the People's Republic of China (PRC). After hounding the telecommunications company Huawei for years, the social networking app TikTok is the latest Chinese company to enter the firing line.

COVID-19: Presidents, the Press, and the Pandemic

The presidents of the Americas, beyond their ideological differences, seem to agree in questioning the role of journalists and the media in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, human rights organizations remind us of the fundamental role of information, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty like the one we are experiencing in this 2020.

Mozambique Reels from Repeated Attacks on Press Freedom

While Mozambique was recently rattled by an arson attack on a local media organisation, experts say that it’s only a part of a worrying pattern of continuous attacks on the media in the country.


Not Guilty Verdict in Kuciak Killing – a Chilling Message for Journalists

A Slovak businessman with alleged links to organised crime has been found not guilty of ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak in a ruling that has left press freedom campaigners and politicians shocked.

Will There Also Be a Post-Journalism?

Every era brings its own buzzwords or catchphrases along with it. The term du jour is ‘pandemic’, namely ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’; but alongside these words, speculation and forecasts over the post-pandemic world are flourishing. There is a proliferation of pieces and commentary on what our daily lives or the economy will be like once the epidemic is under control, that is, how we will live in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Sierra Leone – Why Everyone is Not Celebrating the New Media Law

Last week, Sierra Leone’s parliament voted to repeal the country’s 55-year-old libel law, which criminalised the publication of information that was deemed defamatory or seditious, and which had been used by successive governments to target and imprison media practitioners and silence dissenting views. But not everyone is convinced it was in the best interest of media freedom.

US, UK, Interpol Give Ghana Phone Hacking Tools, Raising Journalist Concerns on Safety & Confidentiality

In May 2019, senior members of Ghana’s law enforcement posed for photos with the U.S. ambassador to their country at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Between them they held boxes and bags, gifts from the U.S. government to Ghana which, according to one of the recipients, contained Israeli phone hacking technology.

Press Freedom Under COVID-19 Lockdown in Asia

Governments have made the media “a scapegoat” across Asia, targeting journalists who are simply reporting on the failures or shortcomings of their leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, press freedom experts have warned.


Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 context

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020, join UNESCO for a dynamic online discussion on the importance of press freedom and independent journalism to provide reliable, life-saving information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics to be covered include:
    • Fighting disinformation and rumours • Journalists on the front lines: ensuring their health and safety • The role of governments: protecting press freedom and independent journalism • The role of social media and technology: supporting journalism and fighting disinformation

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