Attacking Journalists Hurts All Society, Democracy Advocates Say – U.S. State Department ( –

Media rights activists comment on World Press Freedom Day

Washington — If journalists are persecuted, imprisoned or killed, society as a whole is the victim, say media and democracy advocates speaking in advance of World Press Freedom Day.

The United Nations highlighted the importance of a free media by establishing World Press Freedom Day in 1993, setting aside May 3 each year to remember slain and imprisoned journalists. This year’s theme is the safety of journalists.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Karen Stewart told that “by attacking journalists you are attacking a very basic fundamental of a free society,” the right of citizens to have free and open access to information.

“And without those freedoms you cannot have democracy,” the former ambassador to Belarus said April 27. In Belarus, “the embassy worked very hard to support journalists in very trying, repressive circumstances with programs like legal assistance training and funding of external radio operations.” U.S. State Department (>>

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