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United Nations: “Free Press is a cornerstone of democratic societies”

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Posted: Monday, May 3, 2021. 10:37 am CST.

By Zoila Palma: Today is celebrated globally as World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom.

United Nations, Secretary-General, António Guterres urged governments to “do everything in their power” to support free, independent and diverse media.

Guterres highlighted the media as “a cornerstone of democratic societies.” He underscored the importance of reliable, verified, and accessible information.

“During the pandemic, and in other crises including the climate emergency, journalists and media workers help us navigate a fast-changing and often overwhelming landscape of information, while addressing dangerous inaccuracies and falsehoods,” he said.

In addition, the UN official said that free and independent journalism is our greatest ally in combatting misinformation and disinformation.

Journalists around the world also face restrictions, abuse, detention, and even death for doing their jobs.

“The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has hit many media outlets hard, threatening their very survival,” Guterres said.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also highlighted the importance of free, uncensored and independent press as conveying life-saving information, improving public participation, and strengthening accountability and respect for human rights.

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