Reporters Without Borders campaign film still, showing a group of journalists in a busy office

New campaign highlights the importance of press freedom

Reporters Without Borders has launched a campaign showing how newly elected world leaders have championed democracy – before stamping it out

The German branch of Reporters Without Borders, which investigates and advocates for media freedoms, is marking its 30th anniversary with a campaign underscoring the value of free speech in the press.

Created by Innocean Berlin, the campaign revolves around three films directed by Giordano Maestrelli featuring impassioned speeches given by newly elected world leaders, in which they champion democracy and freedom.

It then transpires that these are the words of Presidents Putin, Erdoğan, and Maduro, the autocratic leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela respectively. All of these nations ranked in the bottom 20% of the World Press Freedom Index compiled in 2023 by Reporters Sans Frontières, the parent organisation of Reporters Without Borders.

The films are joined by long-form print and out-of-home ads that lay the speeches out for all to see, with redactions incorporated into the design to emphasise how truth can be obscured without independent reporting.

The campaign is a stark reminder of the contrast between what world leaders promise and what comes to fruition, and the role of journalists in bringing the reality to light. It arrives at a time of increased scrutiny of the press, and comes in a remarkable year that will see more than 80 countries holding presidential elections.

Agency: Innocean Berlin
CCO: Gabriel Mattar
ECD: Ricardo Wolff
Head of Art: Maso Correa Heck
Associate Design Director: Will Cega
Art Director: Leon Celay
Copywriter: Juan Andrés Kebork
Motion Designers: Carlos Suárez, Alexander Aleksidze
Production Company: Stink Films Berlin
Director: Giordano Mastrelli
DOP: Konrad Losch
Sound: Studio Funk Berlin