Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in 2021 - Fearless Journalism

Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in 2021 - Fearless Journalism

Role of press in tackling the pandemic and safeguarding the right to information of people. This year's theme for the day is 'information as a public good'.

As we watch countries ban travel, create containment zones and face one of the greatest medical crises of our times, there have been certain groups of people who did not stop - the healthcare professionals, the volunteers and the press. The News we watched and consumed has kept us aware and safe in more ways than one. We’ve known the declines and the success stories, we’ve received global numbers and local guidelines, all because the journalists did not back down.

Due to COVID-19, two-thirds of staff and freelance journalists, across the world have suffered pay cuts, loss in revenues, and canceled commissions. A study by the University of Columbia showed that over 40% of surveyed journalists reported losing more than half their income.

Be it corruption, stock market updates, or elections. Journalists all over the world have tried relentlessly to ensure that people have access to information. It’s been no easy affair. While we had the choice to sit within the safety of our homes, journalists still had to hunt for information that could make a difference. This press freedom day, let’s acknowledge that we’ve all been lucky to have journalists who have tirelessly tried to get us the information we need.

As we celebrate world press freedom day, let's take a moment to acknowledge that there are still countries that do not give their press this right. According to the press freedom index, these are the countries with the least press freedom - North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Eritrea. Let’s celebrate the countries where the press is given its freedom. It’s taken us a long time to acknowledge the importance of the press however, it’s never late to appreciate the journalists who fought for their right to speak and unravel the truth. It is because of their constant efforts that we now have a dedicated body on the lookout for truth.

As we fight the virus and get overwhelming updates about the same, let’s try to remember the value of that information. As a community, we’ve learned to trust news and to question it. We’ve changed the way we consume news. We’ve come a long way from the daily paper that rested in our living room to timely updates on our mobile phones and digital platforms. The internet has given us access to a wide range of information and sources. However, the body at work remains the same - Journalists.

We’ve seen journalists take to their social media handles to spread the word and present resourceful conversations over live streams. The pandemic may have slowed them down but the information has always reached our phones with light speed. During the onset of the pandemic, around 55 journalists were targeted for covering the pandemic in India. They faced arrest, registration of FIRs, summons and physical assaults and even threats for doing their job, and exercising their right of speech as reported by the ThinkTank.

Reporting has not been safe during the lockdown. While we’ve all had individualistic struggles, the journalistic community has had to uphold its duty under some very strenuous circumstances. We got tons of information because there were people ready to look for it outside the safety net. We’ve had to watch people debate the need for a mask, watch our healthcare system go through some very traumatic experiences, we’ve seen people die and be buried. It’s been overwhelming but the awareness of the matter has always helped us get the clarity we didn’t even realize we needed. Through it all, we’ve had camerapersons and reporters out on the eye of the storm covering news regardless of the danger in question.

This world press freedom day, we at Quintype want to take some time to acknowledge the journalists. We’ve always supported the renaissance of content and today we appreciate the struggle that goes behind the same. We’ve been fortunate to help our clients in our small ways through these times. We hope to celebrate every journalist who has put themselves out there so we didn’t have to. We appreciate their efforts because even though we were in the safety of our homes, it was because of every journalist everywhere on the globe, that we didn’t feel alone or scared. This press freedom day, let’s exercise our right to speech and information. And most importantly, let’s support and encourage our journalists for being brave to write the news.