The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, warned this Wednesday about the risk of a “media extinction event” due to the financial decline of many of these public interest organizations during the pandemic of Covid-19 and vindicated the need for independent journalism.
“The pandemic of Covid-19 it has been accompanied by a huge simultaneous ‘infodemic’. Disinformation and hate speech have proliferated, endangering the health of millions of people around the world, undermining trust in vaccines and science, and dividing communities and countries, “he said in a video message.
The Portuguese diplomat also pointed out that the pandemic has had another “secondary effect”, since it has accelerated the financial decline of many public interest media organizations and only in the newspaper business the losses in the last year are estimated at 30 billion euros. Dollars.
“Some fear that the pandemic could become a ‘media extinction event’. We cannot allow this to happen. Maintaining independent and fact-based journalism is an essential public and global good, and key to building a more secure future. , healthy and green, “he added.
The UN, on the occasion of Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on May 3, warned that if the international community does not act, societies could be irretrievably damaged and the Sustainable Development Goals “irreparably threatened.”
In this regard, he urged member states, the private sector and civil society to support the International Fund for Public Interest Media, promoted by the philanthropic entity Luminate, with which Guterres met this Wednesday.
“Securing sufficient funding and support is crucial to guaranteeing the long-term future of independent media organizations, especially in low- and middle-income countries,” he said.