Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Worldwide Free Press

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Worldwide Free Press

Article excerpt

The concept of a global free and independent press has gained some powerful international supporters. UNESCO, long an advocate of press control under a New World Information Order, has changed its stripes under a new secretary-general (E&P, May 2, Page 8) and is ow a supporter of worlwide press freedom.

Members of NAA (ne ANPA) last week heard the new secretary-general of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, also deliver an unqualified endorsement of free press principles.

Noting that nearly a billion of the world's population are illiterate and that 34 countries in the developing world do not have a single daily newspaper, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said:

"The United Nations and its more affluent member states have a responsibility to support the efforts of those who are trying to establish and maintain a free and independent press where it has long been absent.

"The press has a crucial role to play in promoting the spread of democracy. It can give voice to the ideas and opinions of a broad cross section of society . . . . An informed public will wish to see its views adequately represented in international bodies and this can enhance the level of debate at the U.N. . . . A well-informed public is essential if we at the U.N. are to succeed . . . . "

Members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors should be gratified at these developments. Their predecessors had the vision of world wide press freedom more than 45 years ago. The late John S. …

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