May 03, 2019
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and its affiliates launched the 17th edition of the South Asia Press Freedom Report – Truth vs. Misinformation: The Collective Push Back.
The report was launched in the Maldives by UNESCO New Delhi.
The IFJ said: “This 17th annual review of journalism in the region, Truth vs. Misinformation: The Collective Push Back charts the challenges, triumphs and, most importantly, the solidarity of this region’s brave and determined media community over the past year. While battered by the ugly game-changing rise of fake news and the collapse of media’s traditional economic model, journalists, media workers, and their unions again and again, showed they were defiant, bold and determined to confront a myriad challenges.”
This report shows that in spite of warmongering, the damaging impacts of fake news and hate speech, and the politics of control, South Asia’s media workers made it very clear that they have a decisive role to play in fighting the scourge of misinformation and supporting democracy and human rights. And most importantly they have a leading role in truth-telling.
Featuring Bangladeshi journalist Shahidul Alam (pictured) on the cover, the report documents the ongoing challenges to press freedom in South Asia. Alam’s case was significant and epitomizes the challenges for many journalists as they battle the scourge of ‘fake’ news. Across South Asia journalists mobilized in solidarity to condemn Alam’s arrest.
Under the Journalist Safety Indicators (JSIs) the IFJ recorded 22 journalists and media workers killings in South Asia, 12 of whom were killed in Afghanistan. The IFJ also recorded 130 non-fatal attacks on journalists in the year in review. For the second year, the IFJ recorded journalists detained, noting that four journalists remain in detention in South Asia, out of the 24 detained during the year. The report also documented internet shutdowns in South Asia, recording 106 shutdowns, 96 of which occurred in India.
Read the full report here
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