Democracy stands or falls by its guarantee of freedom of expression and opinion and an independent press.
Two tragic events have thrown that statement into sharp relief: the global coronavirus pandemic and the murder of George Floyd in the USA.
The World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), suggests that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism.
The 2020 edition of the Index, which evaluates the situation for journalists in 180 countries and territories, identifies five converging crises: geopolitical (due to the aggressiveness of authoritarian regimes); technological (due to a lack of democratic guarantees); democratic (due to polarisation and repressive policies); trust (due to aggravated suspicion of the media); and economic (impoverishing quality journalism). These are currently compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A report from Lebanon’s Maharat Foundation examines the role of freedom of expression and media during the 2019 uprising.
Maharat’s aim is to create societal and political conditions that enhance freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline. It equips a progressive community in Lebanon and the region with the skills and knowledge necessary to bring about change.