The Global Conference for Media Freedom in 2019 will be the first of its kind. It will take place 10 to 11 July in London.
A free and independent media plays a vital role in protecting human rights and holding the powerful to account. Media freedom is the lifeblood of democracy and can be the foundation for economic prosperity and social development. It means that society can be free, fair and open. Journalistic scrutiny is an essential part of a vibrant and healthy democracy.
The world is becoming a more hostile place for journalists. Reporters Without Borders called 2018 the deadliest year on record for journalists. UNESCO confirms that at least 99 journalists were killed, a further 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage. Freedom of expression is being stifled and barriers are preventing the functioning of an independent media. We must address this and the dangers it presents.
Find out more: media freedom around the world
The Global Conference for Media Freedom will bring together government officials, multilateral agencies, civil society organisations, academics, editors, publishers, and journalists to debate the issue and take international action.
Facts and figures about media freedom
This information is sourced from organisations including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and UNESCO:
- 2018 is the worst year on record for violence and abuse against journalists: more than half of the journalists were deliberately targeted and there has been a 15% increase in such killings since 2017
- in 2018, at least 99 journalists were killed, a further 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage
- almost 1,000 journalists and media workers have been killed in the past decade
- 93% of those killed are local journalists and 7% are foreign correspondents
- 9 in 10 cases of killed journalists remain unresolved
- only 13% of the world’s population enjoys a free press, and media independence and the autonomy of independent regulators has faced increased pressure
- there has been an increase in incidents against journalists across all categories including murders, imprisonment, hostage-taking and enforced disappearances
- journalists face dangers beyond warzones and extremism, including increasing intolerance to independent reporting, populism, rampant corruption, crime and the breakdown of law and order
- impunity for crimes against journalists remains the norm, with justice in only 1 in 10 cases