Publishing

World Press Freedom Day: 10 articles that map challenges and bring hope – Journalism.co.uk

Credit: Photo by Benjamin Lehman from Pexels

Today (3 May 2019) marks World Press Freedom Day. Journalism.co.uk rounded up 10 articles to highlight the crucial role of journalism for a functioning, safe society and commemorate those who lost their lives defending free press.

We take a look at some of the hardest regions to report in, with accounts from international journalists. All figures below show the country’s ranking out of 180 on the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

Investigative journalist Lyra McKee was shot in the head by the New IRA while reporting on rioting in the Creggan area, Northern Ireland, UK (33) on Thursday 18 April 2019.

We compiled tributes from across the industry and summed-up her talk at our 2014 Newsrewired conference.

Next, we turn to the account of the challenges facing journalists in countries with limited press freedom, Jordan (130), China (177), Russia (149) and Bangladesh (150).

Speakers from a recent Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) event talk about threats they are up against, but also how local reporters have found new ways to report on power.

In Venezuela (148), Nicaragua (114), Brazil (105) and Mexico (144), authorities are clamping down on independent journalism. In this podcast with Catalina Lobo-Guerrero, Spanish editor for GIJN, we talk about newsrooms struggling to report on corruption but also new strategies to report the truth to their audiences.

Adding to that, a new accelerator Velocidad will support 10 innovative projects in Latin America to build resilient business models for news organisations, with $1.5m USD in grants still up for grabs.

From last month’s International Journalism Festival in Perugia, we heard examples of harassment and assassination of journalists in India (140), Malta (77) and Turkey (157), how political groups are using social platforms to silence their critics, and how the platforms can do more to help journalists.

Also from Perugia, news websites in the Philippines (134) and India (140) spoke about the ways political figures retaliate against journalists seeking to report on their regimes.

But these organisations have found new strategies to respond in a way that combats disinformation and defends free speech.

Here are five expert tips from author Susan McKay for staying safe in potentially hostile situations.

Journalists can often be tempted to put themselves in risky situations to get a great scoop but this can have serious consequences – even ones that are not initially anticipated.

Recent reports from the Thomson Foundation details how the charity upskills reporters in Sudan (175), training them in non-confrontational reporting, and how mojo workshops have proved useful for reporting on local uprisings.

In the 17 years since the start of the Afghan war, Taliban-occupied territory has remained a part of the world shrouded from public view and something of a no-go zone for Western reporters.

CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward lifts the lid on what life is like there today, also discussing security measures, ethical challenges and sitting down for an interview with the Taliban chief as a white, western, female journalist. The interview is also available to listen to as a podcast.

One of the more unconventional approaches to reporting around censorship is to use art forms such as graphic novels, explained artist Molly Crabapple at last year’s Conspiracy Logan Symposium.

It has proved successful in depicting life in the ISIS-occupied city of Raqqa, Syria (174) by working with local journalist Marwan Hisham, to co-publish their book “Brothers of the Gun”.

And finally, does blockchain hold the answer to making reporting in these regions easier? Yes and no.

Thanks to new ways of using blockchain technology in publishing, authors can bypass authorities when reporting uncomfortable truth. But the absence of fact-checkers can take disinformation to a whole new level.

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