World Press Freedom Day

Hi, all “growers” of text, pictures, and sound all over the world!

Today, the third of May, is World Press Freedom Day as decided by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Let us celebrate this day with our friends and colleagues!

However, the situation for press freedom around the world is not developing in a very positive way, according to the organization Reporters Without Borders. The organization is also a common source of information for the United Nations and its organization for education, science, and culture, UNESCO.

”The number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline, while authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media,” Reporters without Borders tells us in the latest update of the World Press Freedom Index from April this year.

You can have a look at the press release here:

https://rsf.org/en/2019-world-press-freedom-index-cycle-fear

The result is an atmosphere where fear is increasing, which very often leads to different kinds of self-censorship.

It is very important that we do everything we can to prevent this as agricultural journalists.

Our job is to tell people about farming and the production of food that will feed the human beings of the world — in other words, to keep ourselves alive. It has to be possible to do this independent from authorities and business people trying to hide their failures in agricultural politics and marketing.

However, you will unfortunately still find examples of colleagues who have been stopped while working on, for example, stories about the challenges with farming. Some of our colleagues have even been arrested and tortured when making stories about failure in food production or in politics with bad consequences for the possibilities to produce food.

It should be obvious that we cannot accept such circumstances and that is why we must keep each other informed about the situation around the world and try to support each other as much as possible.

Have a wonderful Press Freedom Day, all of you!

 

Micke Godtfredsen
Chair, IFAJ Freedom of the Press Committee