World Press Freedom Day: What Are We Celebrating?
The day went by without fanfare on May 3. Since it was the Saturday of a long weekend, many of us didn’t even realize that it was the day the UN had designated in 1993 to call attention to the coercion and violence against journalists.
However, it is always the right time to reflect on the role of journalism and the press, and the way journalism, despite having been changed by technology, continues to be an authentic safeguard for individual liberties.
As Gonzalo Marroquín, head of the InterAmerican Press Association (IAPA)’s Press Freedom Committee, said, “Governments need to adopt the correct measures to protect journalists, not because we are asking for privileges for this group, but because when a journalist is attacked, someone is trying to stop a message, to ensure silence; this strikes at the root of the public’s right to information.”
According to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), in 2008, 28 journalists in 17 countries have been killed. To this, we would add two TV Azteca reporters who disappeared last year in a still-unresolved case.
Mexico ranks in the middle of many world lists. However, when we talk about violence against journalists, being number one is not something to brag about. With six journalists dead in the first four months of the year, we beat Iraq by one.
Take a look at this article by AFP:
“UN tribute to media warriors for World Press Freedom Day”
At Grupo Salinas, our position on freedom of expression is perceived by many as very aggressive. However, those who want more silence are the ones who have the most to hide.
We are convinced of the need to preserve freedom. Not only does it give us dignity as human beings, but also, at a more practical level, freedom allows us to progress.
Happy World Press Freedom Day. I hope we have more to celebrate next year.