We are a group of journalists and media workers from multiple sectors – including press, broadcasting, freelance and PR – who are concerned about the way that much of the global news media has reported on Covid-19.
Our group members from countries around the world – including England, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Croatia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States – would like to stress that we appreciate the hard work and diligence of our dedicated colleagues working in these very difficult times, not least through chronic understaffing and being isolated working from home in many cases.
However, since March 2020, the global news media has sometimes:
- published fear-inducing and sometimes inaccurate news coverage;
- undermined initiatives such as the Great Barrington Declaration that offer alternatives to the government’s Covid-19 mitigation policies, while hit pieces have been commissioned targeting scientists who dissent from the dominant Covid-19 narrative;
- helped foster what is now emerging as a hostile environment for people who choose not to have a Covid-19 vaccine.
The global news media has sometimes failed to:
- provide proper context for statistics on Covid-19 ‘cases’ and deaths;
- give due coverage to alternative treatments for Covid-19 such as ivermectin, fluvoxamine, hydroxychloroquine and EXO-CD24;
- enquire into the methodology of the PCR process, particularly its suitability as a diagnostic test and the cycle thresholds at which the tests are run;
- provide a balanced account of the cost and impact of the lockdown policy;
- give serious attention to (when not downplaying) instances of adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine, including death (few media platforms reference data from adverse reaction reporting mechanisms such as the Yellow Card, VAERS and EudraVigilance, for example);
- report objectively on the ‘light-touch’ policies enacted in countries such as Belarus and Sweden and US states such as Florida, Texas and South Dakota, whose experiences make for instructive comparisons between stringent and non-stringent Covid-19 mitigation programmes;
- report on and condemn the routine censorship by tech giants of dissenting voices and opinions;
- ‘follow the money’ by subjecting the interconnected political, financial, philanthropic and industrial interests responsible for the Covid-19 programme to sustained and proper scrutiny.
Our group, Holding The Line: Journalists Against Censorship, has these five principal objectives:
- to raise awareness with our colleagues about suppressed Covid-19 information;
- to encourage fair and balanced debate on Covid-19, lockdowns and vaccinations;
- to ensure a prejudice-free working environment for journalists questioning the predominant Covid-19 narratives;
- to encourage a push-back against growing levels of tech giant censorship;
- to allow for a much broader scope of debate on Covid-19 and the treatments available.
We hold no views on SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19 and neither do we hold any views on the treatments available, including the global vaccination programme.
But we do believe debate around these issues has been stifled and that an environment has been created where some journalists can no longer carry out their fundamental tasks, which are to speak truth to power and call authority to account.
We believe that sustained balanced and fair reporting on Covid-19 across all media would create a very different public understanding of the nature of the disease, its impact, not least in terms of excess deaths, and the high cost of the policies adopted to combat it.