Reflections on Media Environment Trends

Pushing norms and standards in politics, conflict and media to new extremes, leaders in every region of the world in 2016 consolidated and expanded their powers at the expense of freedom and democracy. From armed conflict and forced migration to the spread of misinformation and the rise of right-wing populism, the chaotic and disheartening developments of the year in many ways marked the new frontiers of global repression and inequality.

From footage of Syria’s horror to every minute detail of the US presidential election relayed on social media, the year displayed vividly the increased global connectedness of people and communities as
technology continued to influence news and information and the way it is produced, regulated and repressed. In this context, the year also saw journalism facing a crisis of a fundamental nature spurred on by technological advancement, political power play and global inequality — a crisis that challenges basic notions of truth, relevance and trust.

This report is devoted to these topics — to exploring how we can make journalism relevant in an age of post-truth no matter which part of the world we are in, and to examine what trust in media entails and how we can rebuild and maintain it.