A free and independent press ‘is the heartbeat of democracy’, wrote the late Madeleine Albright. Her words are more poignant than ever as journalism faces a crisis. Long seen as the ‘fourth estate’ whose role was to hold those in power accountable, we hear how the free press is under attack from authoritarianism, violence and unfettered technological advances which threaten its credibility.
Fiona O’Brien, of Reporters Without Borders, writes about a spreading crisis revealed through its annual World Press Freedom Index and what this means for democracy. Last year was the most dangerous to be a journalist outside a war zone, writes Jodie Ginsberg of the Committee to Protect Journalists.