FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 09, 2011
World Press Freedom Day highlights journalists' struggles
Find a story that depends on government transparency and a journalist's access to information.
Which stories from overseas seem to rely on new media tools (cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. ) for their existence?
How much of the reporting in your newspaper seems to come from new media and citizen journalists or bloggers? Can you find examples?
News events like the death of Osama bin Laden last week overshadowed World Press Freedom Day.
In 1993, the United Nations and UNESCO designated May 3 World Press Freedom Day to serve as a constant reminder of the challenges journalists around the world face every day.
This year's World Press Freedom Day conference in Washington, focused on the growing role of the internet, the emergence of new media and the dramatic rise in social networking. This year's theme : "21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers."
Social media, mobile phones and the Internet are fueling the drive for fundamental changes across North Africa and the Middle East. As government censorship and brutal crackdowns hamper traditonal press outlets from freely reporting events, "citizen journalists" are playing a major role in the dramatic political changes taking place from Egypt to Tunisia to Libya to Syria.
"World Press Freedom Day also serves as an occasion to alert citizens to violations of press freedom. It provides a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are being censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are being harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered." -- Sierra Leone Association of Journalists
2010 WAN-IFRA Press Freedom Film:
"Imagine a world in which there is no right to inform, report, investigate, challenge or express an opinion. This is a world where darkness infiltrates every corner of life, where truth is anathema and the power of knowledge simply unknown."
Lifeblood of freedom "Information freely gathered and freely reported is the enemy of despots, dictators and criminal cartels. For democracies, it would seem just as obvious that a free and unfettered flow of information is the lifeblood of systems that depend on an informed citizenry to make the ultimate governing decisions."
Pitfalls of Free Expression: "The Internet's very success has reinforced the determination of repressive governments around the world to erect codes and practices that restrict free expression. Some 40 governments now practice some form of Internet censorship."
Front Page Talking Points Archive