WPFD 2020 celebrating ethics and Pacific journalists


Rarotonga, Cook Islands--World Press Freedom Day 2020 brings us back to the heart of journalism, and more than ever, in the age of misinformation and Covid-19 disruption, that heart is ethics. And just as hearts are meaningless without the bodies they inhabit, ethics would be nothing without the individual journalists who power independant news reporting across the Pacific

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Today, as the UN Secretary General sits for a world first- to be part of the UNESCO-led online event marking the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, I’m pleased to note the theme itself, set last year when no one had an inkling of what was coming, was all about the test of ethics in action- journalism without fear or favour.

Far too many Pacific journalists know far too well the work of journalism involves being in uncomfortable situations, asking difficult questions, seeking information guarded by those who want it to remain secret. In the time of Covid-19, with the newer challenges around misinformation and the so called ‘infodemic’ our Pacific newsrooms -- like our governments, are under more pressure than ever. Our nations of the Blue Pacific are mostly free of the coronavirus yet devastated by its global impact. Media workers are an essential service at the information front line, but resourcing, safety at work, and recognition of their independence continue to be a challenge.

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