World Press Freedom Day and The Importance of a Free Press

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The Newseum's World Press Freedom Map (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mr.TinMD)

Today is World Press Freedom Day, a day designated by the United Nations General Assembly to focus on the "importance of freedom of the press". Today is also meant to act as a reminder to governments across the world of their duty to uphold the right of expression as agreed to in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There are too many countries that do not allow their citizens and presses to freely express their opinions and ideas without limits or harsh repercussions. 

Reports about the Russian government punishing independent journalists while using state-run media to keep citizens in the dark about many aspects of the recent invasion of Ukraine are two recent examples.

Freedom of speech does indeed include the freedom of the press.

In the United States, the First Amendment (adopted in 1791) assures that American citizens are able to share "information, ideas and opinions without interference, or prosecution by the government". 

Unfortunately corporate ownership of many newspapers since the 1980s means much of the news you are reading or watching could be influenced by the hidden interests of powerful corporations and their leaders. 

The video below is an eye-opening view of how scripted the news can be at times.

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Sports news organization Deadspin produced the video linked above in 2018 showing Sinclair Broadcast's news anchors across the country reading from the exact same script

Today is a good day to think about what kind of press you would like to see in the future: corporate owned news organizations that seem to seek to divide us by our differences or less biased, positive news about people doing worthwhile things in middle Georgia without the spin and hidden corporate interests. 

Many small and privately owned news organizations throughout Georgia have scaled down, sold their companies, or closed down since the 1980s and 1990s. Supporting your local news organizations now is more important than ever in order to assure that we continue to have a truly free press not influenced by the hidden interests of faceless corporations.

As a locally owned news organization, Middle Georgia Times wants to thank you for your continued support. We hope to continue to expand across the middle Georgia area while bringing fresh, positive ideas and viewpoints to our readers.


Do you enjoy reading about local news, people, and events on Middle Georgia Times? Become a supporter today and help fund local journalism. 

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