UN Secretary General António Guterres made an appeal in a video message on May 3 for the World Press Freedom Day. He spoke about the crucial role the media has in helping people make informed decisions.

Guterres added that in the midst of the pandemic, these decisions can make the difference between life and death. ‘As the pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to the second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories,’ he said.

He called the press an ‘antidote to the pandemic’ as both he and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been focused on countering the COVID-19 ‘infodemic. Guterres also urged governments to protect journalists and other media employees and to uphold the freedom of the press.