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Press Freedom Day Shows Reason For National, World-Wide Concerns

May 3, 2016

All one needs to do is look at the partisan verbal attacks by presidential candidates to know that journalists face challenges in the United States.  Around the world new security laws in Europe and increased surveillance of information in other regions underscore what is happening to press freedoms world-wide.

While these matters are ones that often get discussed they all come together today as we observe World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day aims to raise awareness of press freedom, and this year coincides with the 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles in Africa.

In the U.S. all ones needs to do in order to better understand what is at stake is watch the bizarre presidential election play out where candidates create a wide array of polarization and ramp up needless verbal attacks against the media.  The Republican presidential debates made it clear that some consider the idea journalists should not be free to criticize candidates as somehow a valid one.

It is simply absurd.

Journalists play a vital part in the world’s ability to govern, mature, and remain stable.   Not for the first time do I place their importance above that of any military.  Reporters are essential and today we need to think about them, give them the respect they are due, and ponder how to make the role they serve one that can be better honored.

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