One of the most important human rights, which is so often insufficiently appreciated, is the right to freedom of expression and accurate information. Yet across the world, journalists, bloggers and others are facing official and de facto restrictions on freedom of expression and communication. Drawing on the strength and expertise of a substantial group of Research Fellows, in 2017 the Institute of Commonwealth Studies established a project to examine the challenges to freedom of expression across the Commonwealth (a global subsystem of 54 member states), looking at local as well as international factors affecting journalistic freedom. 

The project started with a conference on The Commonwealth and Challenges to Media Freedom held in April 2017.

Key Information

Media Freedom Summary Report

Here you will also find a Media Freedom Summary Report which was commissioned by the Commonwealth Foundation(Opens in new window).

Media Freedom Principles

The project has convened a Working Group on Media and Good Governance which includes representatives from a number of Commonwealth partner organisations, including the Commonwealth Journalists Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. In March 2018, the Working Group agreed the Commonwealth principles on freedom of expression and the role of the media in good governance, proposing them for consideration by the Commonwealth Heads of Government at the April 2018 Commonwealth Summit. 

Key Staff Members - Media Freedom Initiative

Kiran Hassan

Dr Kiran Hassan

Associate Fellow and Co-Ordinator of the Media Freedom Initiative 
Research keywords: media in Pakistan; religious minorities in Pakistan

Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow

Mr Martin Plaut

Senior Research Fellow
Research keywords: Southern Africa, migration, defence
Recent publication: Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressiive

Daya Thussu

Professor Daya Thussu

Senior Research Fellow
Research keywords: Global communication; Media.
Recent publication as editor: BRICS Media: Reshaping the Global Communication Order?

David Page

Dr David Page

Senior Research Fellow
Research keywords: Media policy and law in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Rita Payne

Rita Payne

Senior Research Fellow
Research keywords: Media, television, asian affairs


Dr William Crawley

Research keywords: Media policy and law in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Please click on the Media Freedom Monthly News tab below to read the most up-to-date news items by region.