Scroll Top Celebrates the 2024 World Press Freedom Day celebrate World Press Freedom Day

Freedom of the Press figures as one of the crucial rights presented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Today, for the 2024 World Press Freedom Day, recognizes the systematic violations of this right worldwide, due to the repression journalists face because of their independent and peaceful work. This has caused nearly half of the world population to be denied access to free information, and a severe reduction of democratic values worldwide. As the Information and Democracy Declaration states, without a free press and the protection of journalists to disseminate information freely, there can be no trusted third party to check and balance, and ensure the conscious participation of individuals in public life.

Palestinian Journalists and the Right to Truth

In the most difficult contexts around the world, journalists and independent media outlets are courageously standing to deliver free, plural, and reliable information. In the Middle East and North Africa, a region deeply affected by war and authoritarianism, independent journalism remains a source of resistance against the closure of the public debate and the proliferation of a climate of impunity. This has proven to be particularly crucial in times of war. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, journalism is a death threatening activity. Despite the protection that journalists are granted under International Humanitarian Law, 103 Palestinian journalists have been killed, 16 injured, and 25 arrested by the Israeli Defence Forces since the start of the hostilities, according to consortium partner Reporters Without Borders. As stated by the Committee to Protect Journalists this is the deadliest war for journalists since the inception of the organisation in 1992.

Nonetheless, reporters and media workers continue to carry out their mission to report the reality on the ground, amid a context of unbounded military and political violence, following the Israeli ground-attack on Gaza on October 7th. Given the Israeli ban on the entry of UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of Human rights in Palestinian territories and of foreign press in Gaza, Palestinian independent journalists and media outlets are the only few voices ensuring that the violations of international law and human rights against of the population, such as unlawful killings, hostage-taking, the destruction of civilian property, collective punishment, deprivation of essential services, strikes on civilian infrastructure, forced displacement, sexual assault and torture, are held accountable (for a detailed account of the human rights violations committed against the civil population and the obligations to ensure accountability and justice in the OPT, you can refer to this OHCHR report). Thus, the targeting of journalists goes well beyond the violation of International Humanitarian Law. Following the words of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna, journalists are defenders of our right to truth and “every time time a journalist dies or is injured, we lose a fragment of that truth”.

Widespread and emerging threats to Journalists and Press Freedom

Palestine is not an isolated case when it comes to restrictions to Freedom of the Press. The manipulation of information and the severe threats that journalists face by state and non-state actors is becoming a threatening trend worldwide with 7 out of 10 countries considered of high risk for journalists, as shown in the World Press Freedom Index published annually by RSF. The control of public discourse, the repression of dissent, and the manipulation of information are among the strongest weapons that states use to cover abuses and repression, political corruption, and severe violations of human and environmental rights. According to Reporters Without Borders, as of today, 570 journalists are detained globally, and 1,668 have been killed in the past twenty years. On top of this, digitalisation is also becoming a major source of threat to press freedom. The digital turn within journalism, while potentially enabling greater opportunities for investigation and dissemination of information, creates new challenges to the security of journalists to carry out their work. Digital repression, online surveillance, cyber attacks, and the increasingly dissemination of fake news and disinformation, are today among the greatest threats to the resilience of journalism worldwide. The reliance on digital space can also provide opportunities for state and non-state actors to constrain the free flow of reliable information through internet blackouts.’s Support to Journalists results in a Support to Justice and Democracy

Civil society, including the younger generations, is not a passive witness of this deterioration of press freedom and it is particularly attentive to the evolution brought by digital technologies in this domain. The Forum of Young Journalists (FLJJ) in Morocco is a youth association, that delivers courses to enhance the digital awareness of young journalists and promote Freedom of the Press and expression, together with women journalists’ rights, in the country. Within the framework of, RSF supported the FMJJ in implementing training modules on fake news and disinformation, rising awareness on these issues and how to tackle them through fact-checking techniques. 26 journalists received direct training. As similar cases demonstrate, journalists are considered a highly targeted category by, receiving priority support by the mechanism. As highlighted in our most recent report Reaching Out, 14% of the 6781 HRDs directly supported by in 2023 were journalists, resulting in more than 900 individuals receiving targeted support, enabling them to continue their work safely.

The work of journalists and the promotion of free information is a cornerstone in the creation of more equal, free, and just societies. Journalism breaks the discourse monopoly ensuring that the plurality of voices and opinions, the very essence of a democratic society, are heard. Hence, through its targeted support and nuanced approach, is not only protecting individuals facing the most difficult situations but is also contributing to journalism’s social mission to describe and transform the reality on the ground in the service of civil society worldwide.