Editor's note: Remarks by Milton Coleman, president of the Inter American Press Association, in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day on May 3 Thursday. Coleman is the senior editor of the Washington Post. IAPA is the organization defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. The Bay Guardian and I have been members of IAPA for years and I currently serve as co-chair of the North American membership committee. B3
Miami (May 2, 2012)—As we near the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Inter American Press Association this month, I’d also like to take this especial date, May 3, World Press Freedom Day, as an opportunity to pay homage to the 24 journalists from Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Peru that were killed over the last 12 months. Our thoughts are with their families and colleagues, especially because in the majority of these cases, justice has not yet been done.
We also extend our sympathy to all those traditional journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers and owners of media houses that have been attacked, threatened, or have had to seek refuge and exile in other countries after being harassed and hounded because of their work.
We are concerned at the direct and subtle – and in the case of Ecuador not so subtle – economic, legal, and judicial means used against the news media in a number of countries in the region that result in prior restraint and self-censorship, harming not only the news media itself, but most importantly, weakening the public’s right to receive information. Read more »