Social media poses ‘existential threat’ to traditional, trustworthy news: UNESCO

The business model of the news media is ‘broken’ and with it, our fundamental right to information is at risk, a new UNESCO report examining global trends in freedom of expression warns. 

In the past five years, both news audiences and advertising revenues have moved in huge numbers to internet platforms, with only two companies – Google and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) – soaking up half of all global digital advertising spending.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) analysed media development trends from 2016 to 2021 and found that global newspaper advertising revenue has fallen by half during the five year period.

A 2021 UNESCO paper found that more than seven out of ten of women journalists surveyed had experienced online violence and a fifth reported being victims of offline violence in connection with online threats. More