Only 13% of the global population enjoys a robust free press where the safety of journalists is guaranteed. We are reminded that we must never take for granted our capacity to express our ideas, to challenge authority and engage in healthy debate. We must cherish and nurture our freedoms, seeking always to improve our media, challenging them and ourselves to do better and to do more.
For the last six years, an unlikely delegation has helped to shape vital information coming out of COP, the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s not a powerful committee of statesmen. It’s not a global media channel. It’s not a fly-in of Hollywood stars and activists.
It’s a group of reporters that hail from far flung corners of the world. And in many cases, it’s their countries and their homes that will be hit hardest by climate change.
An investigative report by Burmese journalist Swe Win has revealed that abuses and exploitation are rife in Myanmar’s prison labor camps. Interviews with ex-prisoners and former prison officials document that convicts are forced to pay bribes or perform backbreaking manual labor, sometimes resulting in death.
A study conducted by Internews provided deeper insight into how Kenya’s news audiences perceive and understand the graphic images used to tell data-driven stories in the media. Bubble charts have little to no traction with Kenyan audiences; bar charts are generally considered more credible and “scientific;” but the best ones to use for conveying information are pictorial infographics.
Refugees in Greece were able to tell the world about their lives, their history, their reality, and their hopes through six storytelling multimedia workshops in locations throughout Greece. These images can serve as a common language – connecting refugees to a wider world.
Journalism trainers, Hsu Hsu and Hein, went to Kone Thar in Myanmar to lead a “Safe Online Space” training organized by Myanmar ICT for Development Organization. When they spoke about how social media can either be used to mobilize communities for peace, or to stir up conflicts through dangerous speech and spreading online rumors, it triggered an open conversation.
At least 1,000 people are now feared dead in the wake of the devastating hurricane that hit Haiti October 4. One of the most critical needs is the provision of timely, accurate and trusted information that responds to the needs of the affected population.
Last year the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights named Honduras the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. Xiomara Orellana has been working as a journalist for decades in Honduras. She has taken great risks to follow her passion to explain the migration experience.
“The essence of what you do is in the impact that it has on people; for you to inform, change, help consolidate democratic societies."
Ukraine has a pluralistic, mature media landscape, although much of it is tinged with propaganda. Every year, Internews conducts an in-depth survey to track the evolution of this landscape, seeking to understand how people access and process critical news and information. The 2016 survey reveals a drop in trust of Russian media, an increase in people getting their news from the internet, and a growing awareness of ownership of local and national media.