WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released the following statement marking World Press Freedom Day.
“This is not an easy time to be a journalist in the U.S. or around the world. A deadly pandemic, authoritarian regimes, and malicious actors in some democracies have placed roadblocks in the way of presenting the truth while highly placed officials and some media outlets are vigorously promoting misinformation and propaganda. They have put the safety of the media and the quest for accurate reporting in jeopardy. So, on this World Press Freedom Day, we extend our thanks to the countless professional and independent journalists who safeguard the values of truth, democracy and justice through their work despite the risks, hardships and obstacles in their path. No country is immune from sometimes-violent efforts to limit transparency and blur the line between fact and fiction.
“For the future of our democracy, the United States must be a leader at home and abroad, once again, in the effort to protect the freedom of the press – enshrined in the First Amendment to America’s groundbreaking Constitution. No one should be harassed, intimidated, jailed or physically threatened for doing their job of presenting the truth to their readers, viewers and listeners. Strong leaders, those engaged in good governance on behalf of their citizens and country, should welcome the media’s attention to their actions and programs.”
Along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Senator Cardin reintroduced the World Press Freedom Protection and Reciprocity Act, which seeks to protect and promote worldwide press freedom and enhance reciprocity for U.S. news and media outlets. Along with Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Senator Cardin is also a cosponsor of S. 204, the Global Press Freedom Act, which would create in the State Department an Ambassador-at-Large for global press freedom to elevate U.S. government attention to issues of press freedom and journalists’ safety.