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World trends in freedom of expression and media development

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, UNESCO launched a new global report offering a critical analysis of four key dimensions of press freedom: media freedom, media pluralism, media independence and safety of journalists. Although the public’s right to access information is increasingly recognised and the freedom of information in Africa has improved overall, legal restrictions, Internet filtering and Internet shutdowns have curtailed freedom of expression. Moreover, women remain largely underrepresented in the global media landscape. They make up only one in four media decision-makers, one in three reporters and one in five experts interviewed. Media organisations are also increasingly dependent on government and corporate subsidies, which threatens their independence. Political and commercial interests rather than the public interest often drive editorial choices in many African countries. Some 73 journalists were killed in sub-Saharan Africa between 2012-16, compared to 191 journalists in North Africa and the Middle East during the same period.