Sanef commemorates Press Freedom Day, commends coverage of COVID-19 outbreak

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As the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day, the spotlight has been on the extensive work done by journalists from across the globe who have been reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak and how this pandemic has altered the way of reporting.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the day should serve to raise awareness and the importance of a free press and the role it plays in society.

UNESCO says May 3 is a reminder to governments about the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.

From journalists covering stories in war-torn countries to those reporting on finance, health and human rights issues, the day also seeks to reflect the work done by journalists in informing and spreading news to all. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

Under the theme: Journalism without Fear or Favour, the South African National Editor’s Forum says the coronavirus outbreak has changed the way news is told and delivered.

This comes as the outbreak has forced newsrooms across the world to have a deeper focus on reporting news on digital platforms rather than traditional ways.

Sanef has taken the decision to commission research on the impact of the coronavirus on the industry and what is to be done.

Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, Professor Guy Berger speaks on the importance of an independent and impartial press.