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Whose Interested In International Media Freedom Anyway?

September 26, 2013

Accurate news, responsibly reported, is indispensable for a functioning modern democracy. And when there is an assault on democracy, imperiled institutions and processes are sometimes rescued by discussion and debate these events and trends generate. Sometimes debates are international bringing a global focus onto local events.
Stimulating and sustaining discussions on media freedom globally is the raison d’être for international media watchdogs such as Reporters without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, International Federation of Journalists. They believe that by raising issues of censorship, attacks on journalists or the impunity of their killers, international pressure could be brought on the transgressors to become more accountable and eventually for a freer media.
A blog in Wednesday’s Huffington Post raises an issue which, while not focused directly on media freedom, speaks about dwindling interest in international news in general despite our interconnected world.
Falling interest in international news inevitably resonates on what organisations such as RSF or CPJ try to foster: a debate on the importance of media freedom for the world to stay informed of what is happening within countries and in other parts of the world.
But if there is scant interest in world events and processes, what would be the corresponding interest in a free, international media? If there is so little interest in foreign news, why should anyone bother to take media freedom overseas as important enough to invest time or money in crusading for it?
The article does not answer these questions. However, it shows the importance of foreign news and why it matters. The reader can think for herself if foreign news matters, why people should bother about media freedom that enables news to be gathered and transmitted, within as well as outside countries.
You can read the article here
Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.