As the Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the world, at IPI we have been closely monitoring and opposing restrictions to media’s ability to cover this exceptional situation, provide vital information to the public, and maintain open dialogue and debate on the health measures taken. Now, more than ever, independent, credible information is our most valuable good.
Naturally, we are also concerned about how the current situation may affect the IPI World Congress later this year. It’s hard to know right now how the world will look like in September. Yet we are determined to come together; we know that journalism is not only once again showing its strength and value, but also facing new challenges, from the financial impact of the virus to the stress and danger of working on the front lines to new media crackdowns. In this environment, it’s so important to come together, to learn from one another, and to collectively help keep journalism strong.
Coming together at the IPI World Congress will be a statement of global solidarity in support of the journalism that is able to guide us through an unprecedented crisis with the trustworthy information we need and that points the finger at those who pursue their own interests when public health is at stake.
So we are determined to make the World Congress happen, and we are still planning to hold it from September 10 to 12. Together with our Executive Board Chair, Markus Spillmann , and our Congress Chair, John Daniszewski, we are reassessing the situation every couple of weeks. Our priority is our participants’ and our colleagues’ health and safety, and if at any time we feel that this means rescheduling the World Congress, we will inform you immediately.
We have held preliminary conversations with our hosts, the Columbia School of Journalism and Columbia University, and agreed that, should September not be the right time to hold the World Congress, we will identify together with them the next possible date for it.
I would like to thank you for all the support you have offered to IPI and the IPI World Congress so far. It shows the level of solidarity that exists when media freedom is at stake and this is ever so important in today’s uncertain times.