Celebrating World Press Freedom Day

Today we’re joining Internews, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and others in recognizing the critical, and often dangerous work that print journalists and bloggers do to bring us information from the most inaccessible corners of the world. Groups like these help make it possible for journalists like John Musa, who is covering the first Sudanese election in 24 years, to give a first-hand account of what is happening at the polls.

CPJ just released its 2010 Impunity Index, which shows where legal systems have failed to protect journalists against violence and murder. When crimes like these go unpunished because government officials refuse to prosecute, the heightened risk of reporting chokes off news and information flow for citizens, amounting to de facto censorship. Just last week Freedom House released its 2010 annual report on freedom of the press, citing “broad setbacks to global media freedom.”

In response to growing threats, we were glad to hear that Congress passed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act last Thursday, which will shine a light on the practices of foreign governments and the fundamental importance of a free, independent media. We’re hopeful that Congress will continue to stand up for the free flow of information across all networks in all forms of media, a fundamental building block of democracy and human rights.