COVID-19: Emergency Appeal  Journalism , Media Support Launched To Avert Collapse

More than 150 journalism support, media development, and press freedom organisations and networks are appealing for an emergency action, support and assistance to journalism organisations and independent media during the COVID-19 crisis

Operating under the aegis of Global Forum for Media Development,(GFMD), the coalition notes that at this crucial moment, independent media are facing an unprecedented existential challenge saying that with the perfect storm of disinformation and misinformation, repression of critical voices in many countries, and disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the situation facing journalism and news media,  is dire.

A statement by the Executive Director,  GFMD , Mira Milosevic says revenues for these institutions are collapsing, and funding is decreasing just when they need it most

“Millions of people around the world are looking for reliable, fact-based journalism that can help them navigate the biggest shared challenge of our lifetime.
.
“The consequences will be felt globally, but the information crisis and the health crisis is certain to be most acute in resource-poor communities.

GFMD is therefore tasking the target group with specific immediate action to avert the looming challenges to the survival of the Press :-

“Governments are asked to respect the rights of press freedom, rule of law, digital rights, access to information, and freedom of expression. States are asked to work with journalism and media associations to assess the damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on critical public-interest reporting and the sustainability of news organisations. They are asked to devise appropriate mechanisms to urgently provide financial support to public-interest journalism through a variety of means while ensuring that any interventions are just and transparent and do not undermine editorial independence or distort the market place. Governments are also asked to, where appropriate, designate journalists and media workers as ‘key’ or ‘essential workers’, and be responsive to the demands of the press freedom community, including calls to release imprisoned journalists.

” Journalism and media development donors and funders are asked to immediately expedite, increase, and scale-up journalism support; coordinate and pool emergency resources; establish an emergency fund to help public-interest media survive; as well as allocate substantial resources to address journalism’s longer-term sustainability problems.

” Journalism and media organisations are asked to find innovative ways to serve their audiences and fight disinformation and misinformation; protect jobs; show a duty of care to those they employ, both physically in terms of equipment and training, and in terms of their working conditions and mental health. Media are asked to pool resources and collaborate whenever possible, as well as ensure that they serve all sections of their communities.

“Technology, telecommunication companies, and Internet intermediaries are asked to create free and safe digital spaces for journalists and professional media to operate online; ensure algorithms recognise, promote, and reward credible, independent, trustworthy journalism; responsibly manage the use of blacklist technology, and prevent automated takedowns of journalistic content related to COVID-19; increase and expedite funding of independent public-interest journalism, fact-checking, and other measures to counter disinformation and misinformation; take stronger action against malicious actors; lower the cost of Internet connectivity, especially in emerging and developing markets to aid access to information; and finally, step up efforts to respect fundamental human rights online.

” Advertisers are asked to stop blacklisting journalistic content related to COVID-19 pandemic and other critical health and social issues online; review how they measure engagement and impact; and use existing mechanisms to advertise through trusted media to build long-term reputations.

” Audiences: And finally, to people everywhere who read, watch, and listen to trusted news services – large and small, local and international, print, digital, or broadcast: journalism is with you during these troubling times. If you have the means, please find ways to support the journalism that you and your community relies on

The statement calls on supporters of free and pluralistic media to join our appeal so we can help journalism survive this crisis and continue to play its vital role in communities the world over. It says the solidarity, innovation and collaboration that they are seeing during this crisis must outlive this emergency and help them address the long-term sustainability and press freedom issues facing journalism around the world.”

Please Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: