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The fight for press freedom: Perspectives from global media leaders

World Press Freedom Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom and highlights the importance of journalists in our society. To mark this day, our partners working on these issues share their perspectives on two questions: What from your context worries you regarding press freedom? And who or what inspires you and gives you hope for the future of press freedom? 

Through their answers, we hope to shed light on the obstacles that journalists face around the world and to honor the inspiring individuals and movements that are working to defend the freedom of the press.


Felipe Morales - Journalist, El Espectador

"In Colombia, politicians and high officials are attacking journalists through stigmatizing and unfounded accusations, putting them in danger. One such victim is Rafael Moreno. I constantly witness how rigorous journalistic investigations are initially denied by the accused, who take the opportunity to attack the journalists who published them. However, months later, evidence emerges confirming the initial allegations. A second worrying element is that this happens with impunity. Rarely are perpetrators held accountable for violence against journalists. Finally, it is concerning that this cycle of violence and impunity almost legitimizes aggressions against the press in the eyes of the public. As a result, citizens have less and less confidence in the media (a phenomenon that has its roots in several other factors), they do not understand the work of journalists, and on many occasions, they attack us when we cover demonstrations or public meetings. I am inspired by the determination of Colombian journalists, who have learned not to be intimidated by violence. That is why initiatives like the Rafael Project are a way of resisting violence. For me it was inspiring to work hand in hand with journalists with such diverse skills under the same objective: not to let violence win and to ensure that Rafael Moreno's work is not forgotten. To that extent, every day I am more convinced that the best way to respond to attacks on the press is with better journalism."

Cristi Hegranes - CEO & Founder, Global Press

"Recently, Global Press conducted a global survey of journalists on the state of press freedom across the world. We learned that a majority of journalists from 30+ countries feel government censorship is the greatest threat to their work, with disinformation coming in a close second. Nearly 40% of respondents told us they had less freedom now than before the pandemic. And a shocking 48% told us they had been threatened, harassed or censored for their work since 2020. But the news was not all bleak. We learned that journalists around the world were more steadfast than ever in their commitment to informing audiences with the information they need to live free, full lives."

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity. Images courtesy of interviewees and UNESCO. Learn more about The Rafael Project here.