On World Press Freedom Day, we remain grateful for the courageous work of journalists and ever determined to protect freedoms of expression and the press. Freedom of expression, for members of the media and citizens alike, is a human right and a foundation for democratic society. The United States has a long tradition of honoring this freedom, and we are pleased this year to host the global World Press Freedom Day conference for the first time, together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This year’s focus on the expanding frontiers of 21st century media is well suited to our age of enormous political and cultural transformation. Yet, as internet connectivity surges throughout the world, we must remain vigilant against new threats to free expression, from the filtering of content to digital surveillance.
Press freedom deserves the respect and the protection of all nations. Each day, journalists still face violent physical abuse, arbitrary detentions, and even death. We have lost far too many of these brave men and women in recent weeks. We remember them today, just as we remember all those who risk their lives daily in the service of fundamental human rights.