March 27, 2023

Media Freedom Cohort creates unprecedented global partnership supporting independent media  

AMMAN, Jordan – Ahead of the Summit for Democracy 2023, ARIJ is joining more than 100 governments,  businesses, and media support organisations in making official commitments to protecting media freedom worldwide.  

The commitments are a direct response to a call to action issued by the Media Freedom Cohort – an  international coalition chaired by the Governments of Canada and the Netherlands and facilitated by the  international NGO Internews. The full list of commitments is available here.  

“We are very proud to be part of this cohort to launch a commitment to protect media freedom in the midst of mis/dis-information we are facing, which is needed everywhere, an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” said Rawan Damen, Director General of ARIJ. “In our 2022 ARIJ forum, held in December in Amman, our theme focused on defending independent media, 570+ attended in person and 2500+ registered online, from 60+ countries. Therefore, being part of this cohort solidifies our collective stand with the rest of the world in making progress in this important cause.” 

The commitments provide a concrete roadmap for making progress in the Media Freedom Cohort’s  three priority areas: protecting journalists’ safety and security, advancing freedom of expression, and  bolstering independent and diverse media.

“This is a tremendous achievement for the global movement supporting independent media,” said  Internews’ President and CEO Jeanne Bourgault. “At a time when journalists face new threats, local  news outlets struggle to stay afloat, and dangerous disinformation campaigns sway public opinion, it’s very encouraging to see an unprecedented number of influential actors come together to protect free,  high-quality journalism around the world.”  

In addition to ARIJ, actors behind the commitments include 27 governments, leading news organisations such as The New York Times and Associated Press, corporations such as Google, Microsoft and WPP, and an array of civil society groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, OSF, ICFJ, IFJ, IMS, BBC Media Action, ACOS, Article19 and Free Press Unlimited. Details about each commitment, including metrics  and projected timelines, can be found in the Media Freedom Cohort’s Findings Report.  

Looking beyond the Summit for Democracy 2023, the work of the Media Freedom Cohort will continue  through the Media Freedom Coalition, co-chaired by the Governments of Canada and the Netherlands.