Elon students and faculty see the importance of World Press Freedom Day

April 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm 1 comment

By Patrick McCabe

Written April 30, 2009

World Press Freedom Day takes place tomorrow all across the world as a way to draw national attention to the role of independent news and information and how it is under attack.

News organizations all across the world help make this day possible and many communications students and faculty at Elon University see this as an important day for all journalists.

Journalism student Noelle Clemente understands the importance of this day and what role it plays for all journalists.

“This day is so important for recognizing professional journalists,” said Clemente. “It’s extremely important to remember how important it is to allow journalists to the freedom and opportunity to openly explain the news as it is.”

Clemente acts as a citizen journalist, reporting on local issues and using a wordpress site to talk about the news that surrounds her local community.

“I think that citizens do have the same rights but it depends on the forum,” said Clemente. “I have a problem when people confuse citizens opinions for fact but I think they deserve the same rights.”

Journalistic freedom has become an international issue and World Press Freedom Day is helping to raise awareness about journalistic oppression internationally.

According to worldpressfreedom.org 673 journalists were arrested, 125 journalists were imprisoned and 70 journalists were killed in 2008.

Of the journalists killed four were in Africa, 11 in the Americas, 31 in Asia, nine in Europe and Central Asia and 15 in the Middle East and North Africa. 

It appears that international freedom has put a heavy burden on journalists and journalistic rights are not being seen internationally.

Communications professor Tom Nelson sees an importance in international journalistic freedom.

“I think it’s important to realize that freedom of the press is not a western value it’s a universal value,” said Nelson. “I think it’s important for us to stand up straight ad say that to the entire world.”

This year the annual World Press Freedom Day campaign is sponsored by Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press, Russian Guild of Press Publishers, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Michel Cambon, Sanjeev Saikia and Tom Callaghan. 

For more information on how you can get involved click here.

See Noelle Clemente talk about World Press Freedom Day and citizen journalism:

See Tom Nelson talk about World Press Freedom Day internationally:


Entry filed under: Journalism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Janna  |  May 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    You have some great content here. You did not introduce Noelle and share an ID on her. Check back and write a transition to her quote. She did a great job providing a solid sound bite – you might want to link to her WordPress site.

    Read through the piece carefully to catch some typos.

    You already did a lot of work on this, conducting interviews and getting the video clips posted. You should provide hyperlinks to a number of sites about world press freedom – there are quite a few good ones. You should highlight and provide hyperlinks to all of the press organizations you name at the end of the piece, too.


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