United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that press freedom is under attack globally, with journalists facing harassment, intimidation, detention, and imprisonment both online and offline. Guterres issued a rallying cry for journalists and media ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, stating that press freedom was essential to human rights, democracy, and justice.
He also criticised the concentration of media ownership by powerful players and the erosion of independent media. Reporters Without Borders recorded the deaths of 55 journalists and four media workers in the line of duty in 2022.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay agreed with Guterres, stating that the digital age had altered the entire information landscape and made independent journalism more important than ever.
Azoulay emphasised that harassment and intimidation of journalists were unacceptable, and their service to society was at stake. Arthur Sulzberger, the Managing Editor of The New York Times, urged the release of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, who is being held in Russia on espionage charges he denies.