THE COVID PARADOX: RECORD AUDIENCES, SHRINKING REVENUES

Worldwide, media business models are collapsing with the new economic downturn, and attacks on media freedom have increased sharply. But if there is one ray of hope in the tragedy of this pandemic, it could be that Covid-19 is re-awakening people to the vital role that independent media plays in their societies.

EXPANDING SCOPE & PUBLIC DEMAND

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, our partner organisations are exploring new ways to inform and connect with their audiences. They’re helping prevent panic, amplifying the voices of those affected, and helping mitigate the social and economic costs for the people and societies in which they work. 

Battling a new wave of disinformation

Battling a new wave of disinformation

African fact-checkers unite to debunk false stories across the continent

We need to talk gender equality in media

We need to talk gender equality in media

The consequences of Covid-19 will affect media all over the world, but women journalists are particularly vulnerable.

Rights repressed in Asia

Rights repressed in Asia

Six independent media document repression and human rights violations happening across Asia.

Exploring shared experience through documentary

Exploring shared experience through documentary

Daraj Media in Lebanon commissioned 5 leading filmmakers to tell their lockdown stories

Weaponising Coronavirus

Weaponising Coronavirus

In Armenia, a popular coronavirus disinformation campaign is putting people’s health at risk

GLOBAL CHALLENGES - LOCAL SOLUTIONS

Across the world, media are finding new, creative ways to inform citizens, debunk false information and present the facts. On Wednesday 9 December, eight IMS media partners joined UNESCO’s virtual World Press Freedom Conference 2020 to share challenges, learnings and solutions from covering the pandemic.

Further examples of outstanding public-service journalism from our partners around the world

GROWING DEMAND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA?

Several partners have reported unprecedented audience growth since the crisis began.

A pan-Arab digital platform providing in-depth reporting and analysis

1%
Audience growth

Rappler, is a social news network in the Philippines

1
views on Covid-19 Facebook live session

Al Menasa is one of Iraq’s few independent media outlets

1%
Audience Growth

Challenges

THREATS TO MEDIA FREEDOM

While we’re seeing encouraging signs from several of our partners, others are complaining of increasing restrictions and reprisals. In many places, emergency measures to contain the pandemic pose serious risks to press freedom if they become fixed. The International Press Institute is closely monitoring media freedom violations linked to Covid-19. Click below to see their work.

COLLAPSING BUSINESS MODELS

It’s a paradox that, as more and more people realise they need high-quality factual information to navigate the crisis, the business models that sustain that information are collapsing. The global economic shutdown has severely reduced the advertising revenues that many media outlets depend on. Worldwide, countless independent news providers are being forced to scale down, lay off reporters or close altogether.

Covid-19 Asia: Rights Repressed

Covid-19 has eroded democracy and respect for human rights in large parts of Asia with strongmen governments using the pandemic to justify a crackdown that was already well underway.

In the Asia Rights Repressed Journalism Series, six media outlets from Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Cambodia and the Philippines document how Covid is being used to repress political, social and economic rights, affecting in particular, the most vulnerable.

Resources

COVID-19 REPORTING GUIDELINES

Clarity and accuracy in reporting can save lives. IMS has produced guidelines to help journalists get it right. Click the images to download the guides. Read why clarity matters here.