Media Freedom Cohort Launches Call to Action in Advance of Second Summit for Democracy

Governments, businesses, and civil society organizations joined the official launch of the Media Freedom Cohort of the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action today with a call to action:

What can you do to advance media freedom? Join the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action by sharing progress or making a new commitment to measurable, systemic action that protects journalists, advances freedom of expression, and bolsters independent and diverse media.

The Governments of Canada and the Netherlands, building on their leadership as the co-chairs of the Media Freedom Coalition and facilitated by the international media development organization Internews, lead the Media Freedom Cohort.

The Call to Action invites governments, philanthropies, civil society organizations, and businesses, including news organizations and tech platforms, to make a public commitment to policy action, new initiatives, and support mechanisms that measurably and systemically advance democratic principles of media freedom.

Working groups led by governments and civil society partners are focusing on three priority areas:

  1. Protecting Journalists’ Safety and Security: Advancing digital, physical, and psycho-social safety measures, as well as insurance and legal assistance, designed to protect journalists and other media workers. (Government TBC, ACOS Alliance, IFEX)
  2. Advancing Freedom of Expression: Strengthening legal and regulatory reforms that protect freedom of expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (Liberia, IBAHRI, High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom)
  3. Bolstering Independent and Diverse Media: Building funding models, industry standards and public policies that support the resilience and professional capacities of media outlets to survive and thrive in the coming decades. (Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, Global Forum for Media Development)

Commitments can be made through January 2023 and will be collected and promoted by the Media Freedom Cohort at the second Democracy Summit on March 29 and 30, 2023.


The 2021 Summit for Democracy galvanized action to defend democracy, contest authoritarianism, and stand up for the human rights of all. As part of the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action, governments around the world launched multi-stakeholder platforms, called “Democracy Cohorts,” to take concerted action toward commitments in areas of common interest.

The Media Freedom Cohort works to measure achieved progress on the commitments made at the first summit, to bridge gaps on the commitments where progress has been slower to attain, and to spark new, innovative commitments to measurably advance media freedom around the world. The Media Freedom Cohort invites all participants in the Summit for Democracy to share practices and models that can create systemic change at scale.

For more information, contact the Media Freedom Cohort at Media-Freedom-Cohort@internews.org.