WORLD | May 3, 2023

World Press Freedom Day: Is media viability being threatened by advances in digital technology?

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jamaica joins the world in commemorating today (May 3) as World Press Freedom Day under the theme, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.”

In a statement observing the day, the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC), pays tribute to independent media as a primary channel for the dissemination of reliable news and information and other forms of free expression, recognising the 30th Anniversary of World Press Freedom Day.

The MIC is today highlighting certain threats now facing the media space, noting that media outlets continue to support journalism.

“In the face of existential threats to traditional media together with advances in digital technology, media viability has emerged as a major area of focus. Small, independent media outlets now contend with the challenge of big tech, and a lack of resources to support their journalism. The financial viability of many media entities has raised questions surrounding appropriate business models in order for them to transform and evolve.”


The MIC said the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought additional pressure with possibilities that are both positive and negative in character acknowledging that journalists also grapple every day with a shortage of and efficient access to official information in order to provide the needed insights to guide the decisions of citizens and other stakeholders.

Observing that press freedom is also thwarted when legislation is counter intuitive to transparency, the MIC is pointing to the fact that the safety of journalists is emerging as a major concern with the rising incidence of cyber bullying and other areas of virtual malpractice; online misinformation and disinformation and the use of spyware, which targets narratives on human rights.

The Caribbean media training institute made reference to Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

For MIC, this speaks to the democratisation of the human spirit with the media as a substantial platform for expression stating that to stifle this right is unjust. The MIC reiterates its commitment in supporting initiatives towards freedom of expression and to reflect the Pan Caribbean experience in doing so.


The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) will host its annual World Press Freedom Day Forum this evening at University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, 17 Worthington Ave, Kingston 5, starting at 6:00 p.m. 

The discussion will centre on Artificial Intelligence, AI and whether it poses a threat to Journalism as we know it.

It is estimated that the combination of artificial intelligence and robotics will displace up to seven million jobs by 2037. In countries like the US and India, the technology is used to produce reports on topics like Finance, Politics and Sports.

A robust discourse is anticipated, which will also include audience participation.


What To Read Next