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Schatz Statement On World Press Freedom Day

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today released the following statement in honor of World Press Freedom Day.

“A free press is a cornerstone of any healthy democracy – and it’s vital that we protect and defend it, at home and abroad,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The growing attacks on credible, independent journalism are alarming, particularly given the many crises and conflicts happening globally. People rely on journalists to understand what’s happening in their own communities and make sense of the world. In turn, journalists go to extraordinary lengths, often at great personal risk, to report the truth. Unfortunately, we continue to see countless journalists – in Gaza, Russia, and elsewhere – lose their lives or be thrown in jail just for doing their jobs.

“Suppressing press freedom and targeting journalists is the oldest trick in the authoritarian playbook. Anyone who believes in democracy and freedom ought to be unreserved and unequivocal in our support for the free press.”

Press freedom has faced a staggering global decline in recent years. According to Reporters Without Borders’ 2023 World Press Freedom Index, the environment for journalism is “satisfactory” or better in just 30 percent of countries globally. Schatz has led bipartisan efforts in the Senate to promote press freedom and protect journalists worldwide.