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Photo: Markéta Trnková (©MZV)
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MFA Statement on the Occasion of the World Press Freedom Day

 

Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, the World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on May 3. Freedom of speech and independent media are vital for good governance, informed decision-making and accountability of governments. Recent spread of social media and state orchestrated disinformation campaigns only underlined the importance of access to unbiased and reliable information.

The Czech Republic has shown longstanding commitment towards independent media, freedom of expression and access to information. It supports activities of the Council of Europe, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and raises these issues within UNESCO that awards its World Press Freedom Price every year. The MFA also closely cooperates with European Endowment for Democracy and participates in European initiatives promoting independent media.

The MFA distributes about CZK 25 million every year on projects aiming at direct support to independent media, as well as media literacy, training of journalists and initiatives disclosing fake news. This year, the MFA has assigned a special allocation dedicated solely for the purpose of supporting independent media outlets in the regions of Eastern Europe and Western Balkans.

Being the seat of important international initiatives such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Prague Civil Society Centre and the Russian Language News Exchange, Prague has become an important center of gravity for support of free media, especially in the post-Soviet space.  The MFA is a proud partner of these organizations as well as of many other Czech NGOs working in the same filed.

In recent years we have witnessed increasing pressure on independent media and journalists. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs values the contribution of all journalists who risk their freedom and lives for independent reporting and remain committed to supporting them in their vital mission.

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