World Press Freedom Day 2020 - Risk in time of coronavirus


Freedom of the press as an antidote against the risks of authoritarian aspirations in time coronavirus.


Once again the recurrence of the World Press Freedom Day reminds us that no significant progress at all has been made in order to promote and protect one of the most important human rights. The opposite has occurred.

Journalists committed to perform their job in order to prove the truth have been killed and many colleagues are in jail. Despite the fact that the in 2019 we had a quite lower number of journalist killed during the performance of  their  work in comparison to the previous 16 years the situation remains  very worrying.

What is particularly worrying is a clear correlation between suppression of media freedom in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), shows that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely reported, independent, diverse and reliable information.

We are entering a decisive decade for journalism, exacerbated by coronavirus.

With the pretext of concentrating power in the hands of governments to fight more effectively against the virus the press freedom is limited and even suffocated..

What happened for example in Hungary docet.

Press freedom is a powerful antidote against the risks of authoritarian aspirations in times of crisis.

Much worry causes the resentful intolerance of the US President Donald Trump towards free press not sided with his way of thinking and doing.

The true democratic institutions  must act with resolution against attacks to the press freedom. Condemnations doesn’t mean anything. His attitude toward the free press is increasingly  away from the traditional, telling example of the US standard in protecting press freedom. Unfortunately the President Tramp’s intolerance towards free press risks also to influence governments in other countries which are free press’ allergic.

But to condemn is also the attitude of many governments and European institutions too, which after issuing press releases to condemn infringements of press freedom don’t take concrete actions. Rules are not enough, actions are needed to stop this cancer of society. To threaten is not enough, disregard of freedom of press must be punished with loss of rights to vote in the EU-institutions.

EJ strongly condemns all kind of limitation of freedom of the press and do what it can to support and promote this fundamental right. Freedom of expression and information is the most basic right. It is a precondition for the preservation of all other political liberties. We are again calling to the European Commission and the European Parliament to pay more attention to these principals and to take strict action when necessary.