WASHINGTON, May 3, 2017–Military Reporters and Editors, the preeminent membership organization for media professionals in the national security field, joined with other leading press organizations on World Press Freedom Day to speak out on behalf of the media worldwide.
“Journalists and journalism are increasingly under siege,” said John M. Donnelly, MRE’s new president. “Reporters worldwide are too often threatened, harassed, jailed and even killed. In the United States, the president has called the press ‘the enemy of the people.’ MRE will make its voice heard inside the Pentagon and beyond–either alone or with like-minded media groups–to defend press freedom and journalists’ access.”
The statement and signatories are below.
World Press Freedom Day 2017
PRESS ORGANIZATIONS PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN JOURNALISM COMMUNITY IN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY STATEMENT
CONTACT: Kathy Kiely, NPCJI Press Freedom Fellow firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC – May 3, 2017 World Press Freedom Day 2017 arrives at a time when press institutions worldwide are under siege from forces that are both political and economic.
Combined, these forces threaten democratic society as we know it. The same sweeping structural economic changes that have hollowed out so many newsrooms have produced widespread political anxiety. That anxiety in turn has given rise to scapegoating and kill-the-messenger-ism.
Bearers of what are often bad tidings can’t expect to be popular, but journalists cannot take a neutral stand on attacks against themselves. The survival of democracy depends upon a free flow of reliable information.
So as organizations that represent the working press we pledge to:
- Join together in the spirit of craft guilds to provide each other with moral support (including defending our colleagues when attacked) and professional training to make us better guardians of free speech;
- Remind our members that the mission of journalism is not to entertain but to inform the public. Generating audience should not be the primary goal of our work; serving our audience should be.
- Look for creative and innovative ways to support solid, important reporting;
- Get into our communities to hear new stories, build new sources and educate our audience about our role.
- Remind the people that, when we do our jobs well, we are not their enemies but their best friends.
History teaches us that revolutions can create bold new advances for civilization, or produce meaningless destruction. We invite all of those who are in the midst of this information revolution to join us in ensuring that it produces more transparency, more democracy and a better world.
- John Donnelly
Military Reporters & Edtiors
- Jeff Ballou
National Press Club
- Barbara Cochran
President of the Board of Directors
National Press Club Journalism Institute
- Mizell Stewart III
American Society of News Editors
- Yvonne Leow
Asian American Journalists Association
- Jason Zaragoza
Association of Alternative News Media
- Courtney Radsch
Committee to Protect Journalists
- Joyce Barnathan
International Center for Journalists
- Elisa Lees Muñoz
International Women’s Media Foundation
- Sandra Fish
Journalism and Women Symposium
- Sarah Glover
National Association of Black Journalists
- Sandy K. Johnson
National Press Foundation
- Melissa Lyttle
National Press Photographers Association
- Joshua Hatch
Online News Association
- Suzanne Nossel
- Mike Cavender
Radio Television and Digital News Association
- Bartholomew Sullivan
Regional Reporters Association
- Bruce Brown
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
- Delphine Halgand
Reporters Without Borders
- Mark Hamrick
Society of American Business Editors and Writers
- Lynn Walsh
Society of Professional Journalists
- Michael Winship
Writers Guild of America East