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Charter for a World Free Press

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Charter for a World Free Press

Article excerpt

Charter for a world free press

For almost 50 years the free press of America has been trying to export the principles of freedom of the press to the rest of the world. The American Society of Newspaper Editors launched the program near the end of World War II by sending a group of emissaries around the world to preach the gospel according to our First Amendment.

There was considerable lip service to the idea at that time but the growth of the Iron Curtain, Bamboo Curtain, dictators and closed national borders soon reduced it to a glorious dream.

Now, almost all of the "curtains" have been torn down. Communism has been discredited. Once again freedom is being pursued around the world by the people and their representative governments. It appears that the dream may come true.

In the vanguard now is the World Press Freedom Committee which has the broad support of most free press groups. At a recent meeting in London convened by WPFC, journalists from 34 countries wrote a "Charter for a Free Press," which it has suggested to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe for its consideration and support. …

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