UN / PRESS FREEDOM COVID-19

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28-Apr-2021 00:01:42
Secretary-General António Guterres said “the events of the past year have reminded us that access to reliable information is more than just a basic human right – it can also be a matter of life and death,” and added that misinformation and hate speech have proliferated during the COVID-19 pandemic “jeopardizing the health of millions of people worldwide, undermining confidence in vaccines and science, and dividing communities and countries.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PRESS FREEDOM COVID-19
TRT: 01:42
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN flag at UN Headquarters

28 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The events of the past year have reminded us that access to reliable information is more than just a basic human right – it can also be a matter of life and death. The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an enormous concurrent “infodemic.” Misinformation and hate speech have proliferated, jeopardizing the health of millions of people worldwide, undermining confidence in vaccines and science, and dividing communities and countries. The pandemic has had another very dangerous side-effect: it has accelerated the financial decline of many public interest media organizations.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

3. Med shot, UN flag at UN Headquarters

28 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Some fear that the pandemic could become a “media extinction event.” We cannot afford to let this happen. Maintaining independent, fact-based reporting is an essential global public good, critical to building a safer, healthier and greener future. Without urgent action by the international community, we could be left with irrevocable damage to our societies and irreparable threats to the Sustainable Development Goals.

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

5. Close up, UN flag at UN Headquarters

28 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Maria Ressa, Chief Executive Officer, Rappler:
“As we talk about COVID in the real world, there’s COVID in the virtual world. This virus of lies affects real people. And when real people are infected, they become impervious to facts. If we don’t have facts, then we don’t have a shared view of reality. So, think; a lie told a million times becomes a fact; without facts we can’t have truth; without truth, we can’t have trust.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

7. Wide shot, country flags outside UN Headquarters


STORYLINE:

Secretary-General António Guterres today (28 Apr) said “the events of the past year have reminded us that access to reliable information is more than just a basic human right – it can also be a matter of life and death,” and added that misinformation and hate speech have proliferated during the COVID-19 pandemic “jeopardizing the health of millions of people worldwide, undermining confidence in vaccines and science, and dividing communities and countries.”

In a recorded message to an online discussion in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day, Guterres said, the COVID-19 pandemic “has been accompanied by an enormous concurrent “infodemic,” and has also “accelerated the financial decline of many public interest media organizations.”

The Secretary-General said, “some fear that the pandemic could become a “media extinction event.” We cannot afford to let this happen. Maintaining independent, fact-based reporting is an essential global public good, critical to building a safer, healthier and greener future. Without urgent action by the international community, we could be left with irrevocable damage to our societies and irreparable threats to the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the discussion, investigative journalist and media executive Maria Ressa of the Philippines said, “as we talk about COVID in the real world, there’s COVID in the virtual world. This virus of lies affects real people. And when real people are infected, they become impervious to facts. If we don’t have facts, then we don’t have a shared view of reality. So, think; a lie told a million times becomes a fact; without facts we can’t have truth; without truth, we can’t have trust.”

On Tuesday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named Ressa as the recipient of its 2021 press freedom award.

For over three decades, Ressa has been involved in many initiatives to promote press freedom and currently manages the online outlet, Rappler. Her work however, also made her a target for attacks and abuse, UNESCO said in a news release.

The $25,000 Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom, especially in the face of danger. The award ceremony will take place on 2 May in Windhoek, Namibia, during the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference.
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