Stop targeting truth and truth-tellers: UN secretary-general
As the UN marks the 30th anniversary of media freedom on May 3, at least 67 media workers were killed around the world in 2022.
This is according to António Guterres, UN secretary-general, speaking at the opening segment of the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference on Tuesday. He said this was a 50% increase over the previous year.
“Nearly three-quarters of women journalists have experienced violence online, and one in four have been threatened physically. In every corner of the world, freedom of the press is under attack.
“Truth is threatened by disinformation and hate speech seeking to blur the lines between fact and fiction, between science and conspiracy,” he said.
Guterres listed challenges faced by the media industry, including the increased concentration of the industry in the hands of a few, the financial collapse of scores of independent news organisations, and more national laws and regulations that stifle journalists, which further expand censorship and threaten freedom of expression.
“They are routinely harassed, intimidated, detained, and imprisoned. Stop the threats and attacks. Stop detaining and imprisoning journalists for doing their jobs. Stop the lies and disinformation.
“Stop targeting truth and truth-tellers. As journalists stand up for truth, the world stands with them,” said Guterres.
Ten years ago, the UN established a plan of action for the safety of journalists to protect media workers and end impunity for crimes committed against them.