Journalists need to be able to do their jobs in safety, says UN chief

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World Press Freedom Day

All journalists need to be able to do their jobs in safety because when it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Secretary-General Ban spoke at an event in New York on Thursday for the 20th commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, under the theme "Safe to Speak: Ensuring the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers."

He said journalists run up against governments, corporations, criminal gangs, militias and others who want to stifle and censor their inquiries.

The Secretary-General lamented that journalists are targeted all over the world.

"The targets range beyond traditional radio, print and television to social media, blogs and citizen-led reporting. And the threats are not just physical; cyber-attacks and legislative maneuvers are among the tools of coercion. In addition to those who pay the ultimate price, hundreds of journalists have been detained. Many languish for years in brutal conditions as a result of sham trials or trumped-up charges." (29")

World Press Freedom Day, observed on 3, May was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO to draw attention to the plight of journalists and media workers.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'16"

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