Press freedom in the times of Corona

Reliable information is more important than ever at the time of the Corona pandemic. Unfortunately, Governments around the world are using the outbreak of the virus to curb press freedom, according to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index. How can independent media continue to do their work in the new world of lockdown and social distancing? And ensure reliable information and reporting?

These questions and challenges are at the heart of a special, virtual edition of The Hague Talks taking place on World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd. Co-organised by RNW Media and The Hague Project Peace and Justice , the event, titled ‘How can we make our voices heard in the time of the Covid-19 crisis?’, will bring together journalists, bloggers and other media professionals via a public Zoom meeting.

The event will be moderated by Michele Ernsting, Director of Programme Development and Global Networks at RNW Media, who will encourage speakers and audience to address questions such as how can media disprove rumours in this day and age and support communities with access to facts? What are the prospects for global solidarity as the pandemic highlights divisions? And what does this mean for the future of freedom of expression?


Marietje Schaake, President of the Cyber Peace Institute which promotes safe and stable cyberspace. The institute is currently working to counter coronavirus misinformation and combat the ‘infodemic’ exacerbating the pandemic.

Dr Shakira Choonara, a member of the African Union Youth Advisory Council, SA and an independent public health practitioner. Dr Choonara was named as one of Destiny Magazines’ Most Powerful Woman under 40 and 2017 Woman of the Year in Health in South Africa.

Mira Milosevic, a journalist who now heads the Global Forum for Media Development, which works to support journalism that informs citizens and strengthens democracies. She also writes and speaks about the intersection of media, economy, technology, and human rights.

Soni Khanal, Program and Learning Manager, Accountability Lab Nepal. Soni works to promote responsible government and accountable institutions. Internationally, Accountability Lab is currently focusing on debunking coronavirus rumours and validating information.

There will also be time for participants to join in discussion with the speakers. Click here to read more about the event and how to join in via Zoom. The event will also be live-streamed on the Hague Talks YouTube channel