The news in drawing: the Covid-19 kills the freedom of the press

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The current health crisis has hampered press freedom in many countries around the world, at the same time fueling disinformation. A situation denounced by the cartoonist Gado.

The Covid-19 pandemic has weakened press freedom within many repressive regimes, mechanically fueling disinformation. This is in essence what suggests Gado, Tanzanian press illustrator, which features a fake news pump fueled by dictators in a hurry to crush journalists under the cogs of totalitarian power.

According to the 2021 report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), published in April, press freedom is now “totally or partially blocked” in more than 130 countries around the world. The NGO has indeed found that the Covid-19 pandemic presented “a form of opportunity for states which have been able to restrict press freedom”. It has thus exacerbated the repression in the most muzzled countries such as Saudi Arabia or Syria.

Gado made his caricature debut at the age of 15 and then went on to freelance for The Daily News, The Business Times, and The Express. In 1992 he worked for the Nation Media Group and published his cartoons in the Daily Nation, the largest newspaper in East and Central Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1999, Gado was voted Kenyan Cartoonist of the Year. In May 2016, in Geneva, he received the prize Cartooning for Peace.

Cartooning for Peace is an international network of cartoonists committed to promoting, through the universality of press cartoons, freedom of expression, human rights and mutual respect between populations of different cultures or beliefs.

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