Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Response to the Lack of Press Freedom

In response to the recent news that Freedom House had downgraded Mexico's designation of press freedom to Not Free, El Universal writes:
A country without a free press is a country without democracy. When there are extralegal forces capable of silencing journalists and media outlets, it means that the society has had its voiced silence by criminals and shadowy interests, and that therefore the free dissemination and exchange of ideas is impossible. Any control over journalism is contrary to the fundamental liberties of mankind.

The debate today centers on how to protect the integrity of journalists and their organizations. This requires that the state is the true guarantor of security to all of its inhabitants, including those in mass communications. This begins with a policy of zero tolerance toward aggression against the press, from veiled threats from criminals to the not-at-all-subtle aggressions from officials at all levels of government who see threatened their corrupt doings or businesses conducted with the assistance of power.

Journalistic companies must also develop their own codes of protection and industry unity that, independent of the natural competition between media outlets, helps to prevent freedom being shipwrecked among threats and uncertainty.

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