Cohort on Media Freedom

The Cohort on Media Freedom was established to measure achieved progress on the commitments made at the first summit, to bridge gaps on the commitments where progress has been slower to attain, and to spark new, innovative commitments to measurably advance media freedom around the world. It was officially launched during a virtual event on 15 December 2022, with a Call to Action encouraging broad participation and commitment to the principles of the cohort.

Free media is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. It is vital for the creation, development and longevity of a democratic society, providing people with information, shaping public opinions and attitudes and influencing political choices. The media is moreover often regarded as the fourth estate, as its function as a watchdog monitoring the running of the nation by exposing excesses and corruption supplements the checks and balances provided by the three branches of government.

The expected outcomes from this cohort are to document best practices and lessons learnt on how governments and other stakeholders can contribute to improved press freedom; and to submit a Cohort report with new commitments and information on the progress made on the implementation of commitments made at the first summit. They also plan to issue a Call to Action to catalyze commitments to action that protects journalists, advances freedom of expression and bolsters independent and diverse media. The Netherlands will host a regional Summit associated with the second S4D, which is expected to have a particular focus on media and ample participation by civil society.

To achieve their objectives and desired outcomes, the cohort has focused its efforts on organising three working groups, steered by civil society partners, to build on commitments made at the first summit and spark new commitments in the areas of: Protecting Journalists’ Safety and Security, Advancing Freedom of Expression, and Bolstering Independent and Diverse Media. The work of the Media Freedom Cohort will continue past the Second Summit and be incorporated into the ongoing work of the Media Freedom Coalition, which is led by the governments of Canada and The Netherlands.

Relevant documents released by the cohort can be found in the links on the righthand side of the page, and any public events are listed below. We invite you to use the contact form on this portal if you have any contributions or corrections regarding this cohort. Check out Article 19's press release on the work of the Cohort ahead of the Second Summit here.

Title Date Description Link
Cohort Launch 15/12/22 To officially launch the cohort and establish its working groups. External Link
Thriving media for resilient democracies 29/03/23 Session on media freedom at the Second Summit for Democracy. External link
Media viability in crisis 29/03/23 Consultation on media viability in crisis that will feed into the Media Freedom Cohort of the Summit for Democracy. External link