On World Press Freedom Day 2020, recognising the importance of an uncensored media

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  • Hong Kong dropped seven spots on the World Press Freedom Index due to the issues journalists faced during the protests
  • Reporters Without Borders and Unesco will hold live stream discussions about the media starting on May 3
Dannie Aildasani |
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The map indicates how free journalists are in different countries, from black being the most censored to white being the most open.

Now, more than ever, press freedom is important and needs to be protected. Fake news runs rampant, and misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe is causing fear and hurting people.

Since 2002, the World Press Freedom index, released by Reporters Without Borders, has ranked 180 countries and regions according to the amount of freedom given to their journalists, taking into consideration things like independence of the media and safety of reporters. 

Hong Kong ranked 80th this year, dropping 7 places from number 73 in 2019. This means that journalists are facing more restrictions than this time one year ago.

Reporters Without Borders cites cases of violence against the media by pro-Beijing gangs and police during the pro-democracy protests, such as when a reporter was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet, as the reason for the drop.

The theme for this year's talks is "Journalism Without Fear or Favour" and concentrates on the Covid-19 pandemic, noting how many authoritative governments have censored coverage of the coronavirus.

On May 3, people around the world can participate in an interactive livestream discussion for Difference Day 2020, in which speakers will discuss the current challenges journalists face in today's world. Other online discussions from May 4-6 will cover media independence, and how journalists' safety is affected while covering Covid-19.

The map indicates how free journalists are in different countries, from black being the most censored to white being the most open.

A full list of events can be found on the Unesco website.

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