On World Press Freedom Day, Groups Highlight US Media Threats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday applauded the media on the World Press Freedom Day and vouched for a free Press.

Hours after the Kabul explosion, dozens of Afghan news editors and executives returned to the site in a public display of defiance to militants.

The UN actively engaged in supporting free media in Afghanistan.

He said UNESCO records showed that more than 800 journalists were killed in the last decade and nine out of 10 killings went unpunished, adding that every time a journalist was killed, UNESCO called for justice. They expose truths we may otherwise never hear.

To eliminate the fear factor which leads to self-censorship and silencing of societies, Mr Engida said courts needed to protect journalists against attacks online and offline and demonstrate the power of the rule of law to turn back impunity for crimes against journalists.

"We will consistently condemn violence against journalists and oppose - in bilateral contacts with third countries, as well as in multilateral and regional fora - any legislation, regulation or political pressure that limits freedom of expression and will take concrete steps to prevent and respond to attacks against journalists and bloggers, including emergency assistance to protect human rights defenders at high risk, sometimes by means of relocation", the European Union said in a statement.

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Although the day presents an opportunity to celebrate independent journalism and reflect on the challenges journalists and media institutions continue to face in the course of their work, there is need to build on the gains made and seek remedies for challenges.

In Myanmar, hopes have been dashed of more press freedom under the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, which took power in 2016.

This comes days after India slipped two positions in the World Press Freedom Index 2018 to Rank 138 in theb list of 180 countries.

Article 19 joined with the Committee to Protect Journalists, International Freedom of Expression Exchange, International Press Institute, Index on Censorship and Reporters Without Borders to interview USA journalists.

So, during the first months of this year, several cases have been registered preventing journalists to do their job.

RSF figures show 50 professional journalists were killed worldwide in 2017, the lowest toll in 14 years.

  • Adam Floyd