To celebrate World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, UNESCO and the Government of Uruguay are hosting a three-day conference this week on freedom of expression in the digital age, journalists’ safety, and information and privacy access.
With the theme “Journalism under Digital Siege”, this year’s conference focuses on what new surveillance methods and advances in artificial intelligence mean for journalism, expression, and privacy around the world.
“We all must do more to address the risks and seize the opportunities of the digital age,” Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay said. “On this World Press Freedom Day, I invite member states, technology companies, the media community, as well as the rest of civil society to come together to develop a new digital configuration – one that protects both journalism and journalists."
To mark the day, here's a collection of articles by The New Humanitarian showcasing the work of journalists – many of them local – who continue to report important stories and amplify marginalised voices despite the restrictions and dangers they face. Alongside each country is its ranking on an index of journalistic freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) – 180 being the least free.
MYANMAR — 176/180
‘I am a leader of my house’
How Romida and Hafsa are pushing for change in the Rohingya refugee camps – while holding on to the hope of returning home.
‘Telling our own stories’: Rohingya lives, through a camera lens
‘I take photos of our refugee lives to tell the world how we are surviving.’
PALESTINE — 170/180
One year on from Israel’s bombardment, Gazans still await help to rebuild
‘We are starting to lose hope that we will ever have a home again.’
‘I’ve never seen scenes as ugly’: Treating Gaza’s wounded
‘The challenge we face when trying to rescue people is a lack of resources.’
AFGHANISTAN — 156/180
Protections for women facing violence have vanished under the Taliban
‘The whole system to fight GBV was destroyed.’
For this Afghan woman, taking the wheel is a protest
‘The Taliban are trying to turn women back. But it’s the Afghan women who are not the same.’
SYRIA — 171/180
Conflict and climate change collide: Why northeast Syria is running dry
‘We stopped washing ourselves... because my kids developed skin rashes and were covered in red spots.’
YEMEN — 169/180
‘I will not leave my family to die here’: A photojournalist in Yemen’s Marib
‘People are staying and waiting for an unknown future.’
CUBA — 173/180
As Cubans’ needs mount, grassroots groups step in
‘The government would prefer to control all relief efforts, but they don’t have the capacity.’
IRAQ — 172/180
In Iraq’s Sinjar, Yazidi returns crawl to a halt amid fears of Turkish airstrikes
‘We are afraid of only one thing really, and that is the Turkish military.’
Inside the troubled repatriation of Iraqis from Syria’s al-Hol camp
‘I escaped to save my life, and suddenly the name al-Hol equals Islamic State.’
VENEZUELA — 159/180
As desperation grows, Venezuelans look to a dangerous Caribbean escape route
‘We are stuck in Venezuela without a job and trying to survive on the little money we had saved.’