Amid worsening international conflicts and in the wake of the proliferation of mis- and disinformation during the pandemic, protecting independent journalism has never been more critical.
For more than 35 years, the Thomson Reuters Foundation has relentlessly worked to defend an independent press, advocate for the safety of journalists and protect the freedom of expression. The organisation’s convictions, rooted in its rich media and legal expertise, remain as firm as ever before in the face of existing and emerging threats to press freedom, which it believes is a crucial building block of free, fair and informed societies.
In response to the ongoing deterioration of media freedoms during the pandemic, the Foundation built on its unique offerings to facilitate legal support to civil society, develop new tools and resources for journalists and newsrooms, and provide training and mentoring for journalists on the ground.
Over the past two years, the Thomson Reuters Foundation:
- produced a range of practical and legal tools in partnership with UNESCO, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International News Safety Institute to support journalists, media managers and newsrooms to strengthen responses to online and offline harassment and to protect free and independent media.
- hosted two panel discussions at the International Journalism Festival focusing on using the law to protect journalists at risk and safeguarding the editorial independence of news outlets in an era of declining revenues.
- developed “Crisis Reporting Hubs”, training journalists to report on the pandemic and its impact on economies, health care systems and communities.
- launched a new Legal Network for Journalists at Risk, a joint initiative in partnership with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Media Defence. This new service will facilitate legal support for journalists and independent media outlets, enabling them to continue covering public interest stories and hold power to account without fear of retribution.
Antonio Zappulla, CEO at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said, “World Press Freedom Day serves as a moment to mark the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate the state of press freedom around the world, to rally the media community to defend the press from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the pursuit of their professional activities.
“These principles sit at the centre of the Foundation’s work with partners, to foster a free and prosperous media ecosystem that can play a vital role in supporting democracy and development.
“We are incredible proud of our partnership with the People’s Post Code Lottery, and we thank the Players for their support, with which the Foundation has been able to scale its world-class services”.