Message from Vincent Peyregne CEO WAN-IFRA  on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day,  3 May 2024

CEO WAN-IFRA Message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, the World Association of News Publishers unites with all news publishers and media professionals, urging media outlets and journalists to resist censorship, self-censorship, and undue influence. We stand together to uphold principles of quality and transparency, create safety protocols for our personnel, and strengthen our gender, racial, and diversity inclusion policies. This collective effort, supported by new business models and tools for greater sustainability, is what WAN-IFRA advocates for throughout the year at its conferences, training and coaching series, and media development programmes.

The Santiago + 30 Declaration, signed on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2024, underscores the urgency to act against narratives of political polarization. Marty Baron, the Executive Editor of The Washington Post during Donald Trump’s presidency, highlighted the destructive potential of this plague: ‘The internet has allowed the creation of a lot of media. There are almost no obstacles. Several new media spread false information because polarization is a business model.’ We urgently call on news media professionals to resist and adopt standards and tools that reinforce trust in news and fight misinformation at all costs. Understanding the dynamics of trust and acting to reinstall it among our public in these times of change is a necessity for our business model and the social function we seek to uphold.

On World Press Freedom Day, we call on intergovernmental organizations to promote public policies in favour of a plural and independent press, encourage the creation of media outlets in rural areas, and promote public campaigns for media and digital literacy, the most powerful weapon we can imagine, along with education, for building an open society free from the deadly cycle of hatred, violence, and intolerance. It’s a democratic and human imperative for the whole planet, and the source of solutions will enable us to overcome the spreading conflicts and arm us in the face of existential environmental challenges.

On this celebration day, my thoughts go out to our Pakistani colleagues rallying in solidarity around Rural Media Network Pakistan and our colleague Nawa-I-AhmedpurSharqia.

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