2020 REPORT The Impact of COVID-19 on Journalism in Emerging Economies and the Global South

COVID-19 is a generation-defining global crisis. But how does it affect those upon whom we depend for critical, balanced and accurate information? Understanding the real issues is a step towards strengthening an independent and thriving media – and safeguarding its future in a post-COVID era.

2020 REPORT The Impact of COVID-19 on Journalism in Emerging Economies and the Global South

COVID-19 is a generation-defining global crisis. But how does it affect those upon whom we depend for critical, balanced and accurate information? Understanding the real issues is a step towards strengthening an independent and thriving media – and safeguarding its future in a post-COVID era.

ABOUT THE REPORT

This report explores the untold story of how the COVID crisis has impacted on journalists – and journalism - in Emerging Economies and the Global South. It’s a story told not only through the insights of industry leaders, advocates and media experts – but critically, through the voices of the journalists themselves, too often unheard or silenced. It is the first report of its kind to bring together both fact-based data and first-hand experience with this regional focus.

Taking a deep dive into the critical challenges faced by the profession, the report examines issues including the pandemic’s impact on the personal safety and welfare of journalists, the structure of newsrooms and disruption to business models, the proliferation of fake news, and surging threats to media freedom. The study also identifies best practice and innovative approaches that have been developed as a response to the challenges of COVID-19.

Contributing alumni from TRF’s journalism training programmes span 26 countries, sharing their own experiences to illustrate the reality of journalism outside of North America and Western Europe.

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Our hope is that this study provides valuable industry insights for all those who seek to protect and promote a free and vibrant media now, and in the future.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism, a Professor of Practice, an affiliate faculty member of the Department for Middle East and North Africa Studies (MENA), and a Research Associate of the Center for Science Communication Research (SCR), at the University of Oregon.

Alongside holding the Chambers Chair at the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), he is also a Fellow of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, an Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

ABOUT US

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information services company. As an independent charity, registered in the UK and the USA, it works to advance media freedom, foster more inclusive economies, and promote human rights. Through news, media development, free legal assistance and convening initiatives, it uses the combined power of journalism and the law to build global awareness of critical issues faced by humanity, inspire collective leadership and help shape a prosperous world where no one is left behind.

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ABOUT OUR MEDIA FREEDOM WORK

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has nearly 40 years’ experience supporting independent media and training journalists around the world. Since 1983 TRF has worked with over 15,000 journalists in more than 170 countries across the globe.

We believe the media is a crucial pillar of any free, fair and informed society. Our Media Freedom work is focused on media for democracy and development, defending media freedom and strengthening the future of journalism.

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