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World Press Freedom Day: SIGNIS Statement

Wednesday 4 May 2016, by SIGNIS

May, 3rd, 2016 (SIGNIS). On the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, SIGNIS pays tribute to all those communicators and journalists who have striven to follow the demands of their calling in the most difficult of circumstances.

This year World Press Freedom Day reminds us that freedom of information is a fundamental freedom and a human right, that journalists and other communicators often risk their safety and are in need of protection, and that press freedom needs to be constantly upheld and defended.

Last year, the Board of SIGNIS chose Archbishop Oscar Romero as its patron. Romero was gunned down in his own cathedral because he refused to be silent in the face of violence and oppression. He told the truth about what was happening in El Salvador and he paid the price for his courage and integrity.

Like Romero, every year brave journalists and communicators, of all faiths and none, also suffer for their witness to the truth. Reporters Without Borders reports that in 2015, some 110 journalists were killed in the course of their work or in connection with it; 787 have been killed in total since 2005. As a worldwide association of Catholic communicators we are inspired and encouraged by their example.

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