Ukraine, 20 other states call for press freedom
Journalists and other media professionals do important public awareness work and therefore deserve to be protected and supported.
According to a Ukrinform correspondent, this is stated in a statement by the Coalition for Freedom of the Media, signed by the governments of 21 states in Europe and North America, including Ukraine.
“The protection and promotion of free, independent and diverse media, online and offline, is essential to the functioning of inclusive, peaceful and democratic societies. Journalists and media professionals provide the public with essential information, broaden our vision of world and help to hold individuals and institutions accountable, “- said in a statement.
The signatories stressed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, these principles had never been so urgent and important.
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“In these times of crisis, the role of the free press is more important than ever. Unfortunately, many states continue to restrict and censor the media, and journalists face increasing danger in more and more countries. Too often, journalists and media professionals are intimidated, harassed and even kill – often with impunity – only because they do their job, “said the document.
The declaration draws attention to the fact that its signatories remain loyal to the promotion of media freedom and oppose all attempts to undermine it.
“In order to counter threats to media freedom, all states must act at the national level to guarantee respect for these fundamental rights within their own borders and to support them around the world,” concludes the document.
The declaration was distributed on behalf of Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Great Britain and the United States.
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As you know, World Press Freedom Day has been celebrated since 1993, on the initiative of the General Conference of UNESCO with the support of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was on May 3, 1991, in the capital of Namibia, that the “Windhoek Declaration” was signed, which called on the governments of all countries to guarantee press freedom and its democratic character.
This year, UNESCO is launching a global campaign in the media and social networks under the motto “Journalism without fear or bias”.
In addition, an international conference dedicated to World Press Freedom Day is held annually under the auspices of UNESCO. But in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to postpone this forum. It was originally scheduled to take place April 22-24 at the World Forum in The Hague, The Netherlands. The new conference dates are October 18-20. Joint events are scheduled to take place on World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (November 2).
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On World Press Freedom Day, the international organization Reporters Without Borders publishes an annual report, the Press Freedom Index. This report analyzes the state of press and internet freedom in 180 countries. The methodology used to conclude the index is based on objective figures – the number of attacks, arrests, cases of censorship, the number of other crimes and the estimates of international and local experts. This report is titled “Entering a Decisive Decade for Coronavirus-Weighted Journalism”. In this document, the researchers took into account recent events when the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic accentuated and reinforced a number of existing crises that threaten the right to receive information.
Now, according to this report, Ukraine is in 96th place. And that’s immediately six more positions than in 2019, when Ukraine was 102nd.
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru