On the occasion of ‘World Press Freedom Day’ the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, called on governments and others to guarantee that journalists can do their jobs throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Calling the spread of misinformation as a second pandemic, he said, “from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories, the press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis”.
Ever since the pandemic began, many journalists are being subjected to increased restrictions and punishments simply for doing their jobs. While it is understandable that temporary constrains on freedom of movement is essential to beat Covid-19, abuse of such power as an excuse to crack down on journalists’ ability to do their work cannot be encouraged.
He thanked the media for providing facts and analysis, for holding leaders in every sector accountable and for speaking truth to power. Calling on governments to protect media freedom, he added, “to strengthen and maintain press freedom is essential for a future of peace, justice and human rights for all”.