Catch up: World Press Freedom Day Celebrated Globally

Here is a round-up of what took place May 3 around the world on World Press Freedom Day, thanks to the folks at IFEX:

  • On the heels of releasing its Impunity Index, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) chose to challenge authorities to solve the cases of 10 journalists murdered because of their work. The 10 unsolved cases are emblematic of the absence of political will to find the killers, which fosters a culture of impunity.
  • Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC), International PEN also decided to reflect on the “long, shameful tradition of impunity” and to take a moment to honour writers and journalists who have been killed in the line of duty.
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF) used the day to shame predators of press freedom – politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations – who see the press as a sector of society that must be eliminated. This year’s list of Predators of Press Freedom has 40 names from around the world, and includes many of the same suspects from last year.
  • In a special week-long series of correspondent diary entries, the International Press Institute (IPI) is focusing on Somalia and Sri Lanka, two of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists last year.
  • ARTICLE 19 provided a global snapshot of select case studies to emphasize that only a free media can give people the information they need to make decisions about their lives. ARTICLE 19 cites an anti-corruption journalist in Brazil who improved the lives of citizens in the small town of Tejuco in the state of Minas Gerais through his reporting.
  • To mark the day, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) called on “governments and international agencies to respect the communication rights of communities struck by disaster and to recognise the vital role of community media in disaster response and reconstruction.”

Even the US embassy in Brasilia got involved:

The United States Embassy in Brazil has opened a contest about World Press Freedom Day, celebrated each year on May 3rd. The themes are advancing empowerment, transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption. In honor of the big day, the US Mission is giving away a Flip UltraHD camcorder for the best video.

In order to win them, contestants should make a video (2 minutes or less) telling us how having the freedom to access information has advanced empowerment, transparency, accountability or the fight against corruption in your personal life, your community, your country, or the world in a positive way. This contest is about citizen journalists and only open to non-journalists, from May 3 to May 31, 2010. Go to our Facebook page to learn more: http://www.facebook.com/EmbaixadadosEUA.BR.

(Full disclosure: I know about this because I am one of the judges.)

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Filed under Censorship, Freedom of access, Freedom of Information, International News Coverage, Press Freedom

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