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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Media Freedom Faces Unprecedented Threats Globally, Reports Say on World Press Freedom Day

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By Global News Service

Journalists and independent media outlets are facing an unprecedented decline in press freedom and a rise of state repression all across the world, according to the annual report published by Reporters without Borders (RSF) on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

RSF claims that the physical security of journalists continues to be the main threat to press freedom, noting that over 100 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israel in Palestine in the last seven months of the war in Gaza. RSF’s World Press Freedom Index of 2024 notes with worry that in most countries, political authorities supposed to protect press freedom have emerged as the primary threat and the world has seen a “worrying decline in respect for media autonomy.”

RSF’s findings draw attention to the long incarceration of Julian Assange with a threat to his life. Assange’s example presents a significant indictment of the governments in the West who otherwise claim to cherish media freedom.

World Press Freedom Day was first proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993 on the recommendations of the UNESCO general conference as a reminder to governments across the world of their commitment to free press. The day also underlines the need to take steps to defend the media from attacks on its independence and to commemorate all the journalists and media workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Several reports confirm RSF’s figure of the killing of over 100 Palestinian journalists by Israel in its war against the people of Gaza since October. Meanwhile, local Palestinian sources claim the figure is above 140. Due to Israel’s genocide, Palestinian territories, with a population of less than seven million, have emerged as the deadliest place on earth for journalists in the last year.


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