Statement on World Press Freedom Day

A reporter raises his hand to ask a question as U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of U.S. Forces-Iraq, delivers an operational update on the state of affairs in Iraq during a press briefing at the Pentagon, June 4, 2010. DOD photo by Cherie Cullen (released)
A reporter raises his hand to ask a question during a press briefing at the Pentagon, June 4, 2010. Photo: Cherie Cullen / U.S. Department of Defense

Today, we honor the many journalists and media actors who have dedicated their lives, often at great risk, to promote transparency and accountability throughout the world, including in Romania as well.  Recent threats against Romanian investigative reporters have no place in a democratic, Western civilization.  Professional investigative journalists and the stories they bring to society – while at times critical, unflattering, or exposing – are a key component of democratic governance and economic success for all NATO countries, including Romania.  Responsible media have a great role in serving the public interest.   By fostering a free press, citizens and communities are more informed, active and engaged in political decision-making, and can better hold their government accountable.

Freedom of expression, as well as rule of law, equality, humanity, and respect are the foundations upon which democratic states are built.  Media and judicial freedom are at the heart of our NATO alliance.

On the anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, we renew our commitment to promoting and protecting a free press.  We express our solidarity with responsible and brave Romanian reporters who resist pressures and threats in Bucharest as well as in various counties.  Promoting a free press means that we are stronger together, that we stand up for the right to truth and for better, more prosperous and secure lives.