Virus pandemic being used to curb press freedom: Report

An international media rights group said Sunday the coronavirus pandemic is being used by governments around the world to increase restrictions on press freedoms.

In a report issued to coincide with World Press Freedom Day 2020, the International Press Institute concluded that in both democratic and autocratic states the “public health crisis has allowed governments to exercise control over the media on the pretext of preventing the spread of disinformation.” It said authoritarian governments have been abusing emergency measures to “further stifle independent media and criminalise journalism,” while in democracies “efforts to control the public narrative and restrict access to information around the pandemic are on the rise.”