11 MARCH 2022
SOCIAL MEDIA POSES EXISTENTIAL THREAT: UNESCO
Recently UNESCO released a report analysing media development trends from 2016 to 2021, indicating that the news outlets often struggle to get clicks from readers that determine advertising revenues.
“The digital ecosystem has unleashed a flood of competing content and turned large internet companies into the new gatekeepers”.
Also Social media users nearly doubled from 2.3 billion in 2016 to 4.2 billion in 2021, “but not necessarily with the distinctive added value of journalistic content,” says the Report.
The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation and over one million posts circulated were accurate, unreliable or misleading.
Survey conducted among 1400 journalists found that at least two-thirds of them feel less secure in their jobs due to economic pressure of the pandemic. UNESCO also recorded the killings of 455 journalists who were targeted as the result of their work.
More than seven out of ten of women journalists had experienced online violence and a fifth reported as victims of offline violence in connection with online threats.
Attacks against journalists covering protests, demonstrations and riots are “worryingly common” and imprisonment has reached record highs.
UNESCO has urged governments to take policy action to protect independent media and safety of journalists such as supporting the economic viability of independent media, enacting or reforming media laws, developing media and information literacy.