Survey: Press freedom landscape bleak

BRUSSELS, May 3 (KUNA) — The press freedom landscape is undeniably bleak in so many parts of the world as journalists from Europe to Asia and from Africa to Latin America are suffering, according to a new survey of press freedom published here Tuesday.
The survey, published on World Press Freedom Day by the International Federation of Journalists which represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries, exposes the state of abuses of media freedom and journalists’ rights in more than 20 countries.
The survey notes that journalists are killed, attacked, imprisoned and intimidated, governments censor or block access to information, paramilitary and terrorist organ-isations seek to control the message by attacking the messenger.
“This survey exposes a shocking toll of violations of media freedom and a woeful lack of willingness on the part of too many governments and authorities to act to defend journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha in a statement.
“But as it also shows journalists’ unions are ensuring there can be no hiding place for those who attack journalists or undermine media freedom,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Elena Valenciano, and the Chair of the EP Culture and Education Committee, Silvia Costa stressed the link between access to information and fundamental freedoms.
“In today’s interconnected world, confronted by increasing number of humanitarian, economic and political crises, free access to information is more important than ever. We are therefore most concerned by the constant erosion of press freedom worldwide,” they said in a joint statement here today.
“Freedom of the press has now reached its lowest level in 12 years, with setbacks in every region of the world,” they noted. (end)

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