As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, independent journalism has never been more important. Access to reliable and accurate information is literally a matter of life and death. Many of the legal and policy steps being implemented are designed to defend public health. But while presented as “cures,”some of these steps could actually hobble the work of journalists and others engaged in vital research, investigation and storytelling about the pandemic and the disinfodemic that helps fuel it. In recognition of the risks associated with the responses to the disinfodemic our research identified,government should
1:Recognize journalists as key workers and offer them the assistance and protection accordingly under national emergency conditions
2:Support investment in strengthening independent journalism, as the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis threaten journalistic sustainability around the world
3:Work with internet communications companies to establish privacy preserving, secure data exchanges and facilitate access to social media data for journalists, media and researchers, in order to enable thorough investigations, full transparency and secure preservation of historically important social media data.
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