The financial decline of many public interest media organizations worldwide has been among the dangerous side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday in remarks to a UN-backed event to boost support for the sector. Wednesday’s discussion was held ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. With newspapers alone losing an estimated $30 billion last year, “some fear that the pandemic could become a ‘media extinction event’”, he warned. “We cannot afford to let this happen”, the UN chief said in pre-recorded message.  “Maintaining independent, fact-based reporting is an essential global public good, critical to building a safer, healthier and greener future.”