WACC urges global support for press freedom
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WACC urges global support for press freedom

Today, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day, and WACC is calling on all
individuals to support and promote independent and diverse media.

WACC also urges all governments to support and protect, in policy and practice, the freedom and safety of the press.

“Freedom of expression is an essential human right, fundamental to
democracy and to full participation in society. Freedom of the press is
vital,” said WACC in a statement. (See full statement below)

WACC also expresses its strong support for members of the press
around the world “for the vital work that they do in informing
communities, exposing unethical and illegal practices, and highlighting
positive achievements.”

“When journalists and independent media agencies are coming under
increasing fire – sometimes literally – for investigative journalism and
informed editorial opinion, reaffirming the national and global
importance of independent media is all the more important,” said WACC.

At least 45 journalists around the world were killed while doing their work in 2018, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General
Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s
General Conference. According to UNESCO, World Press Freedom Day is an
opportunity to celebrate principles of press freedom, assess the state
of press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on
their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their
lives in the line of duty.

 WACC statement on  World Press Freedom Day 2019

Freedom of expression is an essential human right, fundamental
to democracy and to full participation in society. Freedom of the press
is as vital. When journalists and independent media agencies are coming
under increasing fire – sometimes literally – for investigative
journalism and informed editorial opinion, reaffirming the national and
global importance of independent media is all the more important.

At the end of 2018, Time Magazine named a group of journalists, called “the guardians of truth”
as their “Person of the Year”, honouring their pursuit of truth, the
huge obstacles they faced and, in some cases, the death, violence and
imprisonment they have experienced.

PEN International, which focuses on defending free expression, has highlighted the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia in their World Press Freedom Day statement. Galizia,
a prominent investigative journalist who was exposing government
corruption, was killed by a targeted car bomb in October 2017. PEN
highlights concern that the investigation into her death is neither
independent not effective, and that those journalists and human rights
defenders seeking justice in her case are themselves facing reprisals.

WACC calls on all individuals to support and promote an independent and
diverse media. WACC calls on all governments to support and protect, in
policy and practice, the freedom and safety of the press.

WACC expresses its own strong support for members of the press
around the world, from local citizens engaged in community media to
professional journalists in press agencies, for the vital work they do
in informing communities, exposing unethical and illegal practices, and
highlighting positive achievements. May we all work towards a free and
independent press.

 

Photo above:  A group of men scrutinize a newspaper in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, where the 26th celebration of World Press Freedom Day is being
held.
 By Terje Skjderdal/Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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