Freedom of the Press – A Fundamental Pillar of Democracy

It is because of the Windhoek Declaration that May 3 has been declared the World Press Freedom Day. The Declaration of Windhoek promoted the establishment, maintenance and strengthening of independent, pluralistic and free media as something indispensable for the development and maintenance of democracy in a country, as well as for economic development.

Fundación LED (Libertad de Expresión + Democracia) (in Spanish, freedom of expression + democracy) stands up (just as others did in 1991 in Namibia) for an independent press which no political power is to control economically or politically, as it is not to control the materials and infrastructure that are necessary for the production and circulation of daily newspapers, magazines and periodicals.

The countries of the region have recently had to endure an increasing development of State-owned media to the detriment of the free press. The use of Government advertising as a way to subdue independent media, spending on Government advertising as a way to advocate for a single line of thought, the proliferation of State-owned radio stations and television channels, and acts of censorship against journalists who think differently are some of today´s risks in Latin America.

This new World Press Freedom Day must serve to alert the public against the indirect constraints affecting independent media and journalists in the countries of the region.

Let it also be a flame kept alive in the pursuit of objective information management, independence from Power and investigations for ever deployed in the interests of a society with greater freedom.

Today, in this special day, Fundación LED expresses its support to each and every journalist who at his or her workplace resists pressure as well as direct or indirect intimidation while demanding citizen rights to information and to free speech—n other words, while fighting for freedom.