Covid-19 and Journalism

BARBARA TRIONFI, Executive Director of the International Press Institute (IPI), FJA 2020 Jury Member:

"The developments we are observing today represent the foundation of one of the most profound crises that journalism has experienced in its recent history. On one hand restrictions on journalists’ ability to carry out their work – from disproportionate emergency provisions criminalizing critical journalism to arrests and attacks – that we did not think were possible only six months ago, have been passed incredibly fast and without any degree of public scrutiny. On the other hand, the economic consequences of the crisis are threatening the very existence of independent news organisations that have struggled to remain alive in repressive environments.

"The current crisis shows the unique importance of the free flow of accurate and independent news at the global level. As the number of people consuming quality news has increased exponentially, investigative journalists play a vital role in scrutinising the performance of their leaders in managing the crisis in the interest of the people. Public interest investigative journalism is more important than ever, and yet it is facing unprecedented restrictions and obstacles."