Promoting press freedom the 'smart' thing to do: Baroness Anelay

Promoting press freedom the ‘smart’ thing to do: Baroness Anelay


British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay has said promoting freedom of the press and the right to access information is not just the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing to do.“Where it is denied, we see a stifling of healthy debate and innovation, harming a country’s long term social and economic prospects,” said the UK Minister in a statement marking the World Press Freedom Day.
Anelay said journalists in many countries around the world are still forced to operate in dangerous environments.
“They routinely face violence and intimidation from extremists, criminal gangs and sadly governments too. Female journalists are disproportionately harassed for their work, particularly online. We must do more to tackle the impunity that goes with these crimes,” said the Minister.
In 2015, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent over £500,000 on nine freedom of expression projects, which included mapping threats to journalists and journalism and informing bloggers and online activists about rights and protection issues.
“Recently we have seen some very disturbing instances of people under attack for sharing their opinions, or for the views and communities that they represent. In promoting human rights and equality, they are as much on the ‘frontline’ as the traditional war reporter – and I commend their bravery,” said the Minister.


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