Journalism & Free Speech: The Global Balance

(A speech delivered for the first time at the 23d pan-european conference “Times of Change, Media in Change” of the Eurozine network ( on May 15th in Linz, Austria and it is published with Eurozine’s permission)

 Political repression of pro-democratic journalists throughout the Middle East and North Africa; serial murder of reporters caught up in Latin America’s drug wars; constitutional attacks on the media in Europe: free speech faces adversaries worldwide, warns the director of the International Press Institute (IPI).

While popular consciousness is attuned to war correspondents dying in conflict zones that are in the international eye such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and, more recently, Libya, in many places such as Mexico and Honduras, there’s another no-less-deadly front line.

It’s a front line littered with the bodies of journalists whose by-line may not appear on the pages of the world’s most prominent newspapers, and who may not file reports for the world’s most prominent broadcasters, but who are no less heroic, no less committed to the cause of gathering and transmitting news to serve the public interest in a country facing a very real, extremely violent, and often deadly conflict.

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