Sunday, 1 October 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa: Reuters Institute report provides ‘weapons’ to governments attacking free media

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa has publicly criticized Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), stating that their annual Digital News Report employs flawed research which puts journalists and independent media organizations at risk, especially in the global south. Ressa’s criticisms were detailed in an interview published by The Guardian.

This comes as RISJ released its Digital News Report 2023 on Wednesday (14 Jun). The report, based on a YouGov survey of over 93,000 online news consumers across 46 markets, paints a picture of a news landscape transformed by social media, diminished trust, and financial constraints.

Ressa, an internationally respected journalist and co-founder of the media outlet Rappler, disclosed to The Guardian that she resigned from RISJ’s advisory board last year due to profound concerns about the methodologies utilized in the Digital News Report.

She pinpointed the report’s listing of Rappler, the work of which was integral to her Nobel nomination, as the least trusted media outlet in a survey conducted in the Philippines.

In the interview, Ressa told The Guardian, “Last year I resigned from the board because I thought it was horrendous that they went ahead with it and that it was weaponised and used against us, at a critical time. Government officials were quoting Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism to attack us.”

Despite initially deciding to keep her resignation private, Ressa felt compelled to air her concerns publicly this year after witnessing a lack of action in addressing them.

One of her primary criticisms of the Digital News Report, which is partially funded by Google, is its failure to consider the influence and effects of disinformation campaigns, particularly in countries where the government utilizes its powers to undermine free press.

RISJ’s website reveals that Google News Initiative had donated over £1 million (US$1.26 million) while Thomson Reuters Foundation contributed £0.4 million (US$0.56 million) for FY2021/2022.

Furthermore, Ressa pointed out that the report doesn’t adequately reflect the bias present in tech platforms that control news distribution, nor does it account for the damage wrought by disinformation campaigns.

She stated, “This ‘study’ is like giving a loaded gun to autocratic governments trying to silence independent journalists not just in the Philippines but in countries like Brazil and India, where information operations and the lawfare are used to persecute, harass, and chill.”

In response to Ressa’s comments, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, the director of the RISJ, issued a lengthy statement, part of which read: “We are sorry that our work has been abused to attack her and her colleagues, and we are sorry to hear she has told the Guardian that she thinks our work and our methodology risks undermining media in the global south.”

He continued: “We deplore abuse against Maria Ressa and misrepresentation of our research…We believe it is robust. We have taken steps to mitigate abuse, push back against it, and will continue to do so…We always want to listen to substantial input. Based on the input we have received and the various reviews we have conducted internally, with our country partners, and with our Advisory Board, we stand by our research methods, the results, the team involved, and the country partners we work with across the globe.”

Extra special attention was given to the trust score recorded in the survey for Philipines in the Digital News Report 2023.

The report notes:

“Overall trust in news, boosted to some extent by the COVID-19 pandemic as Filipinos
came to rely more on the news media, remains stable at 38%. Many of the longest
established media brands such as GMA Network and the Philippine Daily Inquirer have
relatively high levels of trust but some independent outlets respected for their
reporting on those in positions of power are often actively distrusted by supporters of
the politicians in question and subject to coordinated harassment, so scores should
not be seen as a measure of the quality or trustworthiness of the content.”


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts