Press initial reactions to COVID-19

The events around COVID-19 are affecting how the press carries out its work around the world.

Journalists listen during a press conference, NY 2 Mar ’20. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE.Journalists listen during a press conference, NY 2 Mar ’20. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE.

More evidence is gathering that states are using COVID-19 to put further pressure on the news media and journalists, and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for journalists in many parts of the world to carry on with their work of investigating and informing.

Sunday 3 May 2020 was World Press Freedom Day and a number of bodies issued reports on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis:

Virus pandemic being used to curb press freedom

BERLIN (AP) — An international media rights group said Sunday the coronavirus pandemic is being used by governments around the world to increase restrictions on press freedoms.

In a report issued to coincide with World Press Freedom Day 2020, the International Press Institute concluded that in both democratic and autocratic states the public health crisis has allowed governments to exercise control over the media on the pretext of preventing the spread of disinformation.”

AP News: Report: Virus pandemic being used to curb press freedom - 3 May 2020

Journalists’ working conditions hit hard by coronavirus

BRUSSELS (AP) — The working conditions of news reporters around the globe have deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic amid job losses and attacks on media freedom, according to a survey published Thursday by the International Federation of Journalists.

Three out of four journalists have faced restrictions, obstruction or intimidation while covering the coronavirus crisis, the group said, analyzing responses from 1,308 journalists in 77 countries.

AP News: Journalists’ working conditions hit hard by coronavirus - 30 April 2020

WPFD 2020: COVID-19 accelerating a global decline in media freedom

In a short space of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped much of the world and posed unprecedented new challenges to journalists and media outlets alike.In many autocratic countries with already poor records on press freedom, governments have abused emergency measures to crack down further on independent media and tighten control over information.

International Press Institute: WPFD 2020: COVID-19 accelerating a global decline in media freedom - 1 May 2020

IPI Press Freedom Monitoring

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