Thursday, May 03, 2007

World Press Freedom Day

Anna Politkovskaya
laureate of the 2007 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano
World Press Freedom Prize
Assassinated because of her work.

Today, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day.

Check out the website of the U.S. Permanent Mission to UNESCO to see the special material organized for the day.

"Free and open societies are not infallible, but they are accountable. A free press, acting as a conduit among a country’s leaders and its citizens, forms the backbone of an open society and is an important part of the democratic process. In the United States, and in many countries, the press provides opportunities for active debate, investigative reporting, and a forum to express views, particularly on behalf of those who are marginalized in society.

"It is an unfortunate reality that the press is also a target for retaliation by those who feel threatened by freedom and transparency. Journalists are often the first to uncover corruption, observe from the front lines of conflict zones, and highlight wrongdoing by governments. This work places many journalists in danger, and it is the duty of governments and citizens to speak out for the protection of journalists and their role in society. "
The United States stands with these courageous individuals who boldly have sought to report the truth, often under difficult circumstances.
"Anna Politkovskaya showed incredible courage and stubbornness in chronicling events in Chechnya after the whole world had given up on that conflict. Her dedication and fearless pursuits of the truth set the highest benchmark of journalism, not only for Russia but for the rest of the world. Indeed, Anna's courage and commitment were so remarkable, that we decided, for the first time, to award the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize posthumously."

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