South American countries have not rated very well in the latest edition of the World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders, RSF, which assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. Half of the countries are in the upper half of the 180 list, while the rest in the lower half; among the first are Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, while Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela among the worst. To have an idea UK rates 24 and the US 42.
On World Press Freedom Day, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres made a brief statement saying ”a free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all. It is crucial to building transparent and democratic societies and keeping those in power accountable. It is vital for sustainable development.
In a “post-truth” world with “fake news” on the rise, and media accountability and credibility falling under question, free, independent and professional journalism has never been more important, the United Nations today said.
Freedom of expression and press freedom are critical to the successful implementation of good governance and human rights around the world, top United Nations officials declared today as they inaugurated the 2015 edition of World Press Freedom Day with a reminder that both freedoms were “essential” for the shaping of a new global sustainable development agenda.
United Nations officials issued a call to action to ensure the safety of journalists in every country, echoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who declared; “When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits”.
Violence, intimidation and polarization still obstruct reporting in Americas says the 2013 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index which was released in anticipation of the World Press Freedom Day, May 3 (*). The report states that the ranking of most countries is no longer attributable to dramatic political developments and this year’s index is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term.
“In an era of rapid and often momentous change, the value of a vigorous, independent and pluralistic press is undeniable.
United Nations top officials today May 3 highlighted the power of press freedom to spark social and political change and to hold governments accountable, stressing that this vital right must be ensured across the world by creating the conditions that allow journalists to perform their work safely.
Today Amy 3, World Press Freedom Day 2012, Reporters Without Borders condemns the furious pace of physical attacks on news providers and reports that a total of 21 journalists, and 6 citizen journalists have been killed since the start of 2012, many of them in war zones such as Somalia and Syria. This is a rate of one news provider killed every five days.
World Press Freedom Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December, 1993, as an outgrowth of the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press.