Norway is maintaining its international support for freedom of expression and freedom of the press by extending its cooperation with International Media Support for four years. According to the agreement, funding provided by Norway will be used to improve access to reliable information, particularly during crises, promote high-quality journalism, and counter hate speech. It will also be used in efforts to protect journalists and media workers in 40 countries.
‘Promoting human rights is at the core of Norwegian foreign policy. Freedom of expression is intrinsically important and is vital for safeguarding a range of other human rights and democracy,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
International Media Support works in countries where humanitarian crises, war or political instability make access to information particularly difficult. About one third of the Norwegian funding will be used for efforts in the Middle East. Norway will provide NOK 116 million over the four-year period.
‘The coronavirus crisis has shown us just how crucial access to reliable information is if we are to safeguard everyone’s rights and maintain a high level of trust within our societies. It is more important than ever to fight against disinformation, support independent journalism and protect journalists who are in danger just because of the work they do,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a strategy for promoting freedom of expression and independent media in foreign and development policy. The Ministry supports a range of international and Norwegian partners in order to achieve the goals of the strategy. International Media Support has been one of these partners for a number of years, and the new agreement makes it the Ministry’s largest recipient of funding for this area.