Free, independent, plural and diverse media are an essential pillar of democracy and a core component of the right to freedom of expression. Journalism has been acknowledged as an essential service to society, playing a vital role in informing the public and holding public institutions to account. Its value to sustainable development has been noted in the UN Agenda on Sustainable Development. Despite the recognition of the importance of press or media freedom, viability and safety of journalists, they are under serious threat in almost every part of the world. The dangers have been heightened in recent years by digital and social media platforms, which, while creating opportunities, have also brought significant new challenges to the media sector.
The report of the Special Rapporteur will highlight the key trends that threaten press/media freedom and viability and the safety of journalists online and offline. It will analyze State practice, including laws, policies and regulatory and other institutions relevant to press or media freedom, in light of international human rights standards. It will also examine the impact of the policies and practices of digital companies on the freedom and viability of the media, as well as responses from civil society and the media sector itself to the threats, challenges and opportunities. The report will make recommendations, drawing attention, where relevant, to good practices and innovative approaches of State and private actors as well as to international human rights obligations and standards.
For more information on how to share comments on opportunities, challenges and threats to media in the digital age (in English, French, or Spanish), click here.
Organisation: UN OHCHR (United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner)