Today, ADALA joins the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day. As recent history has made clear, Information is a Public Good. The COVID-19 pandemic has further illuminated journalists, across medium and sectors, as our Information “first responders”. They act as both protectors and champions of verifiable and reliable Information, therefore, achieving that Public Good.
Across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia we are endeavoring to support journalists to ensure economic viability within media ecosystems, advocate against the rise of digital autocracy and data transparency, whilst enhancing Media and Information Literacy. Thus further deterring the global rise in disinformation and digital authoritarianism. Our efforts have not been easy, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has carried with it the concurrent rise in digital authoritarianism.
This in turn has increased repression and state censorship which in turn further nurtures disinformation and the subsequent spread thereof. Nonetheless, it is under these conditions in which we thrive, our collective becomes emboldened, and acts as the sinew for our network of networks.
Not only do we stand to pay tribute in discourse we embody this rhetoric. We understand that there has never been a more important time to protect Information as of the Public Good. This is why at the present time our Founder and Executive Director is in Southeast Asia; working alongside journalists to empower as they bring to light the crisis in Myanmar.
We are an organization of action – we are here to support the United Nation’s efforts, “to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended, and closed down, while journalists, editors, and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.” But also to actively foster and defend media thus maintaining Information as a Public Good.