Twitter's new campaign focuses on supporting local journalism

As part of the World Press Freedom Day, Twitter has carried out a new initiative. This new step is a campaign carried out by Twitter full page ads on various newspaper in which Twitter has included a list of journalist on Twitter to follow as well as new education programs and funding to support open press coverage.

According to the tech giant, the main purpose of them supporting tis campaign and the press freedom day is to basically thank and encourage the local journalists who selflessly report from the frontlines in times of conflicts, in the face of hostile interest, and especially during such testing times where they have covered a global pandemic without caring about their health and risks it bring along and therefore the company thinks it is important to give them their well-deserved recognition.

The full page ad campaign is currently being issued on 28 known newspaper across US with the hashtag #FollowLocalJournalists. On the bottom of the ad page on each newspaper a QR code is present scanning on which will direct the readers to Twitter Lists of local journalists which has been formed by both the newspaper officials and the Twitter team. This way the public will have a more direct way to stay in touch with the latest news coverage from these correspondents, with Twitter's real-time nature providing a timelier way to stay on top of the latest news and announcements.

However, the question that has arisen is that can Twitter stand up for press freedom outside the US, which is regularly being challenged?

Because currently Twitter is stuck in tackling the Indian Government requests for restrictions on anti-Government sentiment, along with other countries that are pushing for more control over social media platforms, and what's published by their citizens.

Previously when Trump’s tweet arose a havoc at the Capitol did we realize how influential a single tweet on Twitter can be though Twitter managed to block Trump off its platform can they control the tweets that can be similarly influential from people outside of the United States.

We have seen many cases though where many other world leaders looking to influence, and even control tweets, as part of their efforts to maintain power and control within their respective regions.

However, some of these controlled and censorship tweets makes sense. Like in India where the pandemic has reached to its extreme peak, the Indian government is trying to eradicate and control any sort of misinformation related to the pandemic within its region but at the same time the Indian government has taken advantages as well through this where they have eliminated the criticisms that are being pointed at them for mishandling the current wave by removing tweets from local journalists as well as suspending their accounts.

Twitter when questioned about this said that they have removed tweets from the compliance of the local laws and that has provided the Indian government with the capacity to effectively implement censorship while at the same time the Turkish laws has forced Twitter to comply in respect of controlling speech via tweets, with local Twitter representatives appointed to enact new content removal laws.

And since twitter is supporting local journalists through these ad campaigns in newspaper precisely in the US they have found different parameters to support local journalists from different regions apart from the US by introducing a hashtag #FollowLocalJournalists as a part of a global campaign run on Twitter so that it supports journalists from around the world.

Apart from this in order to support local journalists, Twitter has also organized Twitter Spaces events around the world where local journalists will freely be able to speak about the issues facing their industry which will include events in Philippines, Myanmar, India, Japan and Brazil.

Lastly, Twitter will also provide training and 'Ads for Good' grants to various non-profit organizations that provide support for journalists around the world.

It is great to see Twitter acknowledging the vast majority which work day in and out to bring us the correct information regarding the pandemic and other news from around the world throughout the year despite the circumstances. Considering how this profession is usually neglected this campaign has made us realize that the journalists are also the true heroes.

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