Nearly 500 press freedom violations in connection with COVID-19 have taken place this year, according to the International Press Institute (IPI)‘s COVID-19 Press Freedom Tracker.
Since March, IPI has monitored attacks on journalists and limitations on press freedom related to the ongoing pandemic. IPI today re-launched its monitoring database, the IPI COVID-19 Press Freedom Tracker, with new features, including a filter function. Users can sort the individual press freedom alerts by type of violation – including arrest, limitations on access to information, or physical attack – as well as country and region.
The alerts show that governments have sought to stifle independent coverage of the pandemic, despite the importance of media freedom for public health measures. Journalists have faced restrictions accessing data on the pandemic or speaking with healthcare workers, been denied access to press conferences; and jailed for covering coronavirus-related corruption. At least 17 countries have passed “fake news” laws under the guise of stopping the spread of disinformation. More recently, journalists have been targeted with violence from anti-lockdown demonstrators.
Visit the IPI COVID-19 Press Freedom Tracker.
Work on the new version of the IPI COVID-19 Press Freedom Tracker is supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom: European Dialogue.