Free Media Essential to Democracy

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 4, 2009
Television Camera Crew Reporting in Mumbai

In recognition of World Press Freedom Day, Secretary Clinton released this statement:

The United States is proud to join the international community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day and the contributions that journalists make to advancing human dignity, liberty, and prosperity.

We live in a world where the free flow of information and ideas is a powerful force for progress. Independent print, broadcast, and online media outlets are more than sources of news and opinion. They also expose abuses of power, fight corruption, challenge assumptions, and provide constructive outlets for new ideas and dissent.

Freedom of the press is protected by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a hallmark of every free society. Wherever media freedom is in jeopardy, all other human rights are also under threat. A free media is essential to democracy and it fosters transparency and accountability, both of which are prerequisites for sustained economic development.

Those who seek to abuse power and spread corruption view media freedom as a threat. Instead of supporting an open press, they attempt to control or silence independent voices. The methods they use against news organizations and journalists range from restrictive laws and regulations to censorship, violence, imprisonment, and even murder. Such tactics are not new, and cannot go unanswered.

We are especially concerned about the citizens from our own country currently under detention abroad: individuals such as Roxana Saberi in Iran, and Euna Lee and Laura Ling in North Korea.

On behalf of President Obama, I want to affirm the United States’ strong commitment to media freedom worldwide. We will champion this cause through our diplomatic efforts and through our exchange and assistance programs. We will work in partnership with non-governmental organizations and directly with members of the media. And we will stand with those courageous men and women who face persecution for exercising and defending the right of media freedom.

Comments

Comments

Teresa N.
|
Brazil
May 4, 2009

Teresa N. in Brazil writes:

Yes give PEACE a chance!!

RoseParvin
May 4, 2009

Rose P. writes:

Secretary Clinton is echoing my voice and philosophy and counld not be more accurate in her words than this! I am glad that she and the president are endorsing my Universal Laws and include Freedom of Press among these Universal Programs and Patterns the absence of we cannot accept in any other nations! In our own country what we believe in and are coming to evolve to value more must be excercise and protected to become the blueprint for other nations!

Jay T.
|
California, USA
May 4, 2009

Jay T. in California writes:

Media freedom in the age of corporate domination means lack of access to free broadband, broadcast and state of the art equipment for grassroots journalism ensures only business and government interests will be widely heard.

Zharkov
|
United States
May 5, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Senators Rockefeller, Snowe & Nelson have introduced Senate Bill S773 which would give President Obama full power and control to shut down the Internet.

It was Senator Jay Rockefeller, who recently wondered aloud if the world would be better off had the internet not been invented.

If a free media preserves democracy, why is Senator Jay Rockefeller introducing a bill to give Mr. Obama the power to shut down the internet?

The bill states that "the president may order a Cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic" and would hand the government continuous access to "all relevant data concerning (critical infrastructure) networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access."

What constitutes a Cybersecurity "emergency", an internet meeting of Tea Party organizers? A protest held without government permission?

Why is shutdown of the internet the only option when most of the internet is privately owned and anyone can set up firewalls and security measures?

What is really behind this attempt at violating the constitutional right to free assembly and free speech over the internet?

How can we lead by example when our Congress are the ones trying to silence the public?

What kind of message does it send when a U.S. president has the absolute, dictatorial power to stop all communication over the internet?

palgye
|
South Korea
May 5, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

yes, i agree, but i have no methods. do you have any clues.

Zharkov
|
United States
May 7, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Had someone missed reading the news?

The Federal Communications Commission will soon be headed and controlled by an appointee who thinks government, not the free market, should control broadcast programming.

The appointee to be regulatory czar for the administration has flirted with ideas like a "Fairness Doctrine" for the Internet and mandatory 24-hour, cooling-off periods before sending e-mails.

As we speak, local "commissar commissions" are being established in every radio market to monitor programming and challenge broadcast licenses on the basis of content.

Hate-crimes legislation has passed the House and is headed for the Senate -- a bill that would punish thoughts and speech and provide, for the first time, special protections to a new "victim class" of pedophiles.

There is little question for any serious and objective observer that the new Washington power structure is targeting the most significant voice of dissent left in America -- talk radio.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=97198

Susan
|
Florida, USA
May 7, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

@ Jay T. in California and Zharkov in U.S.A. -- I have long been concerned with the limiting of free press/media. The corporate ownership of news stations is beyond frightening. I read recently that freedom of the media, around the world, is declining. How is this possible? It is a fact that without this freedom a society is no longer "free". The last eight years have surely shown us that our freedoms can be slowly and "quietly" taken away. We must be aware and we should speak up!

John
|
Greece
May 7, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Susan in Florida -- Are you talking to me? (LOL) I paid for this and I'm still paying... 'cause it happens!

When I really need to relax some nights, though, I bring to "fantasy" this GREAT newspaper man of the romantic cowboy movies. A village! A paper! Local voice! The problem is that sometimes my REM wakes up my romantic dreams saying that: even back then, the paper guy was working for the mayor's/ sheriff's election.
(Chuckle) & (LOL)

Keep up the great posts!

Ted
|
California, USA
June 24, 2009

Ted in California writes:

As an ex officio member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Secretary Clinton should inquire why the BBG had ended all Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcasts to Russia last summer (just 12 days before Russian troops entered Georgia) and why the BBG had refused to resume them during the crisis despite urgent requests from listeners in the war zone, VOA journalists, and media freedom advocates. She should also ask the BBG why Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which is managed by the BBG, is discriminating against third-country journalists working for RFE/RL in Prague by denying them the same labor protection rights enjoyed by their American and Czech colleagues.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 8, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Once upon a time there was a DJ in a radio station that was being taken over by a corperate entity that thought Muzak was hot stuff.

This poor DJ had been reduced to a talking monkey, following a computer programed preselected playlist, and there was no joy in that, so the DJ bought himself a clue at the local pub, and worked up a plan.

Next day he started his 12 hour shift and shaved every second of dead air from all the time between loading the pre-selected Cd's, advertizing carts, and public service anouncements to the point that about half an hour before his shift was to end at midnight and the next talking monkey was to do the graveyard, he'd timed out the day's computer programing.

The next 30 minutes was what I would call "free media".

My last minutes as radio DJ was in tribute to the Electric Church, a glorius trainwreck of Hendrix tunes interspersed with interviews mingling with the station ID at the top of the hour.

It was all muzak from then on... a local radio station's last gasp,.. might as well end it with a flaming guitar...

The day the music dies.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
May 8, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece and Eric in New Mexico -- Please know that I realize that all press/media is bias, one way or the other, and that politics are always involved, as is money. But my real concern is our passive response to the removal of our freedoms, as set down in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. This seems very wrong to me. Our country has become such a "corporate conglomerate" and those with the most lobbyists win. It is not about agreeing with all the media, whether that is radio talk shows or news programs, or newspapers/news magazines, but it is about being able to read or listen, and to THINK, and make choices based on different opinions. True?

John
|
Greece
May 8, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- "Jack of all trades, master of none" (CHUCKLE)

special dedication partner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2nQZPC2uTs

@ Susan in Florida -- We are still FREE!!!

Susan
|
Florida, USA
May 8, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece -- I always read your postings with interest and appreciation. I appreciate your pro-American views. As an American, I must ask my government to be responsible for the actions that they take. I love this country and want it to remain free. This country is still a place of hope for people around the world. They look to us to "do the right thing". We must get back to doing that. I believe it is essential to not only Americans, but to all the people of this world. If we turn away from our rights and freedoms, and allow them to be reducted, what will happen to our country and to the rest of the world?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 9, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan, mine was not a "passive response", however, it did comply with FCC regulations...(chuckle).

John, I couldn't make that up if I tried...

John
|
Greece
May 9, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Susan in Florida -- QUOTE: Susan in Florida writes: To the DipNote staff -- THANK YOU for providing us,"the world", WITH A PLACE TO EXPRESS OUR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS. Congratulations on the 5 million page milestone!! Your hard work and obvious dedication are appreciated. Looking forward to the next 5 million. END OF QUOTE
Posted on Sun May 03, 2009

Sometimes, I insist Susan. We are still free!!!

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 10, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Democracy is a wonderful thing.

I wanted to make a comment about the fires in california.

1. I noticed how California lost two senior fire fighers, that is just horrible. It make me think a little harder on what might of saved their lives.

We as a Nation always design and build fire trucks to be aggressive watering pumps which delivers water to the fire, which we all can agree. A future concept in relation to safty of newer fire trucks should have a modification, a defense measure. If or when a fire truck is over runned by flames or heat, there should be a switch that turns on a release of fire retardant material in a 360 degree angle, that shoots about 50 - 150 feet away from the truck. This should give the fire truck and crew a chance in future.

The second method of Defense if anyone is interested, will share upon asked, which might even be used in cars and homes in the future.

Best Regards,

Don

John
|
Greece
May 10, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in Virginia -- What's the second method of Defence for cars and homes? (asked)

Some things are not so simple, but I love the way you think! You create thinking!

A fire truck works as a fire truck! What I'm trying to say is that the fire truck and its crew must give a "solution" for the fire. Right? Otherwise, in this order you suggest, we will initially -- when we "design" fire trucks -- try to save the fire truck or crew, but not the "fire", which may be 500 people burning, all of which is 498 human lives in danger... far more than the fire truck's crew or the... truck -- I don't care about the truck.

However, if you had "energy" to save the ship, would you use it in order to save the life boat?

According to my opinion, a fire truck must use all its "power" to save lives. If we get involved in negotiating the power such a car can use as "reserves" -- we will lose more lives than the ones we want to save.

I am not a car engineer or a "special cars' analyst", but if I had to manufacture a new era fire truck, my concept would "drive me" to use all the car space, power, engines, etc. in order to save THE MORE people I can, and not the crew, or certainly the vehicle.

Of course every life is unique and the two senior fighters are and will for ever remain: HEROES!!!

But, what our comments have to do with this topic?

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 11, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

@ John in Greece -- In trying to answer the question we have always utilized fire trucks in an offensive. What we fail to do is provide a Defensive Position for the truck and crew. What real fail safes are on fire trucks today? none

How many more fire fighers will we lose to fires before they start thinking about? How to make them better prepared for the most dangerous fires that over-run them?

It's just like fighter pilots who have ejection seats? They have them but passengers who fly on 747's don't? Does that make any sense?

Saving the truck or the crew should be of the highest safety standards for everyone.

The second method has to do with temperature. When you think about the raging temps fires produce.

I'm thinking ICE vs HEAT. There should be a method to provide extreme cold temps to the structure of a building, or even to a vehicle. I'm pretty sure there is chemical like CO2 that exists that would provide extreme cold temps, that would ice down the unit.

Just for an example: Let's say your a California fire Fighter at the scene of this major fire. The crew who is battling the fire. When all of sudden the flames rise to 100 feet in the air, the wind moves towards them and the heat is very hot. What Defense do they really have, if say the fire truck pump fails? If they cannot fight the fire with water? They would be burned alive.

Unless there is a future modification on the truck that would ICE the exterior of the vehicle. Then have an emergency device added to the truck that would disburse fire retardant material surrounding them. This would prevent any fuel from being burned. I would add one more valuable thing to the Cab of the fire truck. The ability to produce oxygen for the crew with external points. So they can breath noraml in the cab but also have the ability to recharge the equipment at the scene.

"Then if or when in future a fire was to over-run them, the fire fighters would go back to the fire truck, deploy the fire retardant material, ice down the truck, then turn on the oxygen allowing them to breath normal, while the fire and heat moves away from them. Saving the crew and truck, which is a good day for fire fighters!"

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 11, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

The reason why I went with this topic to talk about the fire fighting issues is because, Freedom and Democracy only works if your alive to enjoy it. Since we know that fires destroy, thought it might be a good add on story to this topic. The other reason is because after watching many of my fellow fire fighters get burned up, it was time to start talking about what could save their lives, especially when they are out trying to save others, along with property.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
May 11, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Only if premissed on truth...which will enable a productive outcome.

This of course does not include such tatics as 'disinformation' and 'misinformation' for the purpose of National Security...not sensationalism for profit.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 8, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

So Kim Jong-il's sons illegally enter Japan and Switzerland to attend school and sightsee under false names and false passports, and get no punishment from any government, and two American women get 12 years in prison at hard labor for accidentally stepping across the DPRK border?

If nothing else proves Kim is a fool, this has to be it. The next time his sons try to enter into a western country, they should get 12 years in prison on the grounds of diplomatic comity (no, not comedy!).

David J.
|
Florida, USA
June 12, 2009

David J. in Florida writes:

Blogs and social-networking sites have gained so much clout that authorities have pushed back hard, briefly shutting down Facebook last month to try to blunt Mousavi's momentum and jailing several prominent bloggers despite an outcry from international world press freedom groups.

Thanks and regards by
David J.

.

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