UNESCO’s Global Report 2021/2022 provides an analysis of the current state of media freedom, pluralism and independence worldwide. It is produced every four years and informs UNESCO Member States, other global actors, civil society groups and individuals seeking to understand the media environment.
Taking cues from the COVID-19 era, expect to see a renewed interest in explanatory formats – particularly online – as publishers seek to make complex stories more engaging for digital audiences. For example, BBC presenter Ros Atkins’s series of no-nonsense analyses of complicated events boiled down into five- to ten-minute monologues aimed at digital audiences proved a big hit. Meanwhile, UK slow news start-up Tortoise Media has refined its hybrid events model to combine the intimacy of a live event with keeping remote audience members engaged online.
Also expect to see more open access initiatives in response to critiques of growing information inequality. Publishers such as The Daily Maverick in South Africa offer a pay what you can afford membership while others like Correio da Manha and Publico in Portugal use lottery funding to give free digital subscriptions to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Finally, with more attention to the complexities of climate change in 2022, expect to see further efforts to improve newsroom expertise around this issue – with new tools like Trint for transcription and Pinpoint for investigations making it easier for smaller editors to use. This will be boosted by the expansion of networks like Oxford Climate Journalism Network, Rainforest Investigations and a host of other collaborative and investigative projects.