Westport Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Alert “06880” reader Mark Friedman — an RTM representative, and founder of iheartfreedomofthepress.com — writes:

As a child of the 1970s, I watched Superman cartoons. He worked tirelessly for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

Somewhere along the way (in law school?), I came to accept that people would not soon jump tall buildings in a single bound. But I also developed an abiding gratitude for the rights protected by the Constitution of the United States — in particular, our First Amendment freedoms.

World Press Freedom Day is tomorrow (Friday, May 3). Westport honors this day with a 3:30 p.m. event at Town Hall.

Mark Friedman, at Westport’s Memorial Day parade.

Westporter Bill Haas of the UN Association of SW CT will moderate a panel discussion considering the impact of money, politics and censorship on press freedom.  Participants include Congressman Jim Himes, Francesca Procaccini of Yale Law School, Michael DeDora of Committee to Protect Journalists, and myself.

Westport — known for its artistic influences and commitment to freedom of expression — strikes me as the perfect place for this event.

At a time when governments worldwide jail hundreds of journalists, and the US is ranked 48th worldwide in terms of press freedoms, Westport seems especially equipped to provide the intellectual and moral leadership, given its ethos of service — both locally and globally.

I encourage Westporters to attend Friday’s event. I also ask us everyone to consider Nelson Mandela’s reflection on press freedom:

A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.  The press must be free from state interference.  It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials.  It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor.

Westporters have a significant role to play in protecting Truth, Justice, and the American Way. And as a certain Marvel superhero reminds us, with great power comes great responsibility.

5 responses to “Westport Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

  1. Richard Fogel

    thank you for your good work

  2. Tom Feeley Sr

    A nonpartisan objective press would be refreshing ‼️🇺🇸

  3. Arline Gertzoff

    As a UNA SWCT board member I encourage all to come out for this timely event.Freedom of the Press is the cornerstone of a Democracy.This concept was established in the 18th century by John Peter Zenger a true American patriot
    A Q andA will follow the presentation

    American patriot

  4. I hope you also discuss impact on ‘freedom of press’ of paying ‘reporters’ per how many clicks they get (at Newsweek, for example, the largest portion of their yearly take home pay = bonus, & bonus is based on if they meet clicks quota per headline), i.e., are they still ‘press’ as the drafters of the constitution defined ‘the press’ IF their editorial decisions are in large part based on gtg clicks for $$$? (Because to me that makes them more, not totally, just more, public relations than ‘press’)

  5. Mary McGee

    Freedom of the press = freedom of the people.