States of Control: South Asia Press Freedom Report 2019-20
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and its affiliates launch the 18th edition of the South Asia Press Freedom Report – States of Control: Covid, Cuts and Impunity. The report was launched in a webinar hosted by the IFJ and UNESCO New Delhi on May 1, 2020.
When the Indian government imposed the internet shutdown in Kashmir on August 5, 2019 revoking Article 370 of the Constitution of India, journalists in Kashmir struggled with their work and lives. The problems they faced were numerous; ranging from not being able to gather information or to write, publish, print or broadcast news, ultimately leading to job losses and salary cuts, in addition to harassment, controls on movement and the necessity to file stories from a designated media centre.
While Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen boasts about the Cambodia’s democratic credentials, the reality tells a different story. He has told journalists and civil society groups to hold the government to account by reporting on corruption and injustice, yet crackdowns on freedom of expression and punishes those critical of the government. With a worrying decline in press freedom and democratic rights in Cambodia, the IFJ and its affiliate in Cambodia will continue on its mission to promote press freedom and the people’s right to know.
The virtual world mirrors the ‘real’ world, where women journalists are harassed, excluded and subjected to abuse for their work, undermining their right to express themselves in the digital space without repercussions. The IFJ-led campaign, involving unions and press freedom organisations, calls for strong action to stop cyber-bullying and online harassment of women journalists.