World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

Across the world, journalism is under fire. While more individuals have access to content than ever before, the combination of political polarization and technological change have facilitated the rapid spread of hate speech, misogyny and unverified ‘fake news’, often leading to disproportionate restrictions on freedom of expression. In an ever-growing number of countries, journalists face physical and verbal attacks that threaten their ability to report news and information to the public.

In the face of such challenges, the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development series offer a critical analysis of the trends in media freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists. With a special focus on gender equality in the media, the report provides a global perspective that serves as an essential resource for UNESCO Member States, international organizations, civil society groups, academia and individuals seeking to understand the changing global media landscape.




Issue Brief: Journalism, Press Freedom and Covid-19











Available in:

English | French | Spanish


Highlights of the WTR In Focus edition: “Reporting Facts: Free from Fear or Favour”

Available in:

English | French | Spanish


Media Independence in Times of Crisis: A Webinar for World Freedom Day 2020

5 May | (14:00 GMT-2) 


As part of the global celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2020, UNESCO organized a webinar to discuss editorial independence and media capture in times of COVID-19 and beyond.

The webinar featured a discussion of the forthcoming UNESCO study Reporting Facts: Free from Fear or Favor. The study’s author, Marius Dragomir, was joined by prominent journalists and civil society representatives in an animated discussion that centered around the importance of press freedom and the threats to editorial independence in times of crisis. 

Click for more information.





In Focus Series – World Trends Report 2019

Elections and Media in Digital Times


Access to Information: A New Promise for Sustainable Development


Intensified Attacks, New Defences (Report on Safety of Journalists)



World Trends Report 2017-2018

Full report






Regional overviews

Regional Overview of Africa Regional Overview of Arab States
Regional Overview of Asia and the Pacific


Regional Overview of Central and Eastern Europe
Regional Overview of Latin America and the Caribbean


Regional Overview of Western Europe and North America


Executive summary










Click below to discover the trends and download each chapter


This publication was supported by Sweden.

Editorial Team : World Media Trends. Global Report 2017/2018