In pursuit of truth: journalists fight back in battle for press freedom | #students | #parents

Early last year, openDemocracy began tracking how governments around the world were responding to the pandemic. Alarmingly, many of them seized the opportunity to crack down on political opponents and consolidate power.

This rollback of human rights also affected press freedom on several continents, from Hungary to South Africa, Russia and the Philippines. Journalists were completely or partly blocked from doing their work in 73% of the 180 countries monitored by the organisation, Reporters Without Borders.

Attacks on journalists take many forms: in Egypt and Iraq, female journalists have been disproportionately targeted on social media, while in Greece, a corporate media monopoly has led to pliant coverage of the government.

Below, we have collated a few stories of resilience in the face of repression. In Russia, a group of student journalists disillusioned by uncritical state media built their own platform from scratch. And a moving series of portraits of journalists killed in Mexico serves as a testament to the changes that their work brought to their communities.

These cases demonstrate that press freedom is not a right exclusively given to those in the profession, but one that we all share. When our governments are held to account for their decisions, we all benefit.

Lebanon’s corrupt government leads a press backlash

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