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World Press Freedom Day: Free media and freedom of information

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 30 April 2010 - "One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects."
- Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

The phrase "information is power" is just part of the story. The Right to Information is an enabling and empowering right which has taken the world by storm over the past two decades, but it cannot be fully realised without the fourth pillar of democracy: a free media.

Without a free media, the information people receive is often incomplete, biased, unverifiable, minimal and largely ineffectual. Hand in hand with a free media, the Right to Information changes power dynamics, creating much more responsive and responsible states and governments.

Around the world, ARTICLE 19 offices are recognising World Press Freedom Day and the Right to Information with a number of events. In Senegal, ARTICLE 19 and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) are launching a new initiative to support media access to information. In Mexico, ARTICLE 19 is launching a security manual for journalists. In Azerbaijan, ARTICLE 19 is running a journalist forum and in Brazil, ARTICLE 19 is working with MTV and other journalists linking free media with the Right to Information.

This global snapshot highlights a selection of case studies showing how only a free media can impart the information people need to make decisions about their lives.

See the full press release

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