World Press Freedom Day:



For Immediate Release
May 3, 2024


World Press Freedom Day

Today, as democracies around the world confront serious backsliding and autocrats continue to repress the free flow of information and ideas, journalists are more essential than ever to safeguarding democratic values. From those employed by international media organizations to those working for local newspapers, courageous journalists all over the world help shine a light on corruption, encourage civic engagement, and hold governments accountable.

And they do so at great personal risk – including when their reporting exposes the tactics of regimes or leaders working to undermine human rights. Today, violence, harassment, repression, and censorship against journalists are at record highs. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 2023 saw the second-highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world since tracking began three decades ago, as well as a significant increase in the number of journalist killings, especially journalists in Gaza covering the Israel-Hamas conflict. CPJ has documented the killing of 97 journalists and media workers in Gaza since October 7, 2023. Journalists around the world are also confronting a range of techniques aimed at silencing or discrediting their reporting, such as internet blackouts, information manipulation on social media, targeting with commercial spyware, and spurious lawsuits to bankrupt small, independent media outlets. 

The U.S. government has ramped up our investment in free media to help bolster journalists against many of these threats, and today it is the largest public donor to independent media development around the world. USAID has spearheaded many of the United States’ most innovative investments. The International Fund for Public Interest Media, for example, delivers much-needed support to independent media outlets at risk of shutting down. Reporters Shield provides investigative media outlets and civil-society organizations with legal protection from lawsuits meant to silence their reporting. Our Media Viability Accelerator, which we launched last year in partnership with Microsoft and Internews, expands access to media market research and solutions that can help small media outlets with limited financial resources become more financially stable. Starting today, this resource will be accessible to hundreds of independent media partners.  

These three activities complement a number of critically important USAID programs, run directly through our Missions on the ground, that equip journalists and their allies to protect themselves from attacks online and offline, strengthen investigative journalism networksadvance freedom of expression, and amplify citizen voices.

A free press remains essential to the health and security of a society. Here at USAID, we stand with the brave journalists risking their lives and livelihoods to tell the stories that need to be told. And we will continue to support their efforts to report the truth – just as we will work to create a world where they can do so safely and freely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *