World Press Freedom Day

Today is World Press Freedom day and Amnesty International has used posters to spread awareness.

Kaylee Long, Editor

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20150501_143209Today, Sun. May 3, is World Press Freedom day. World Press Freedom was established in 1993 by United Nations to bring celebrate press freedom, bring freedom of the press to other countries, and remember journalists who have died doing their duty, over 91 in 2014 alone, through speeches, presentations, and ceremonies.

Senior Elizabeth Nichols, a member of Amnesty International, posted newspapers from Russia and China with the word “censored” on them instead of giving speeches.“As a human rights club, we want to kind of spread awareness of these rights and rights violations in a way that’s more engaging to the Smoky Hill community,” Nichols said.

Many countries today threaten journalists with imprisonment and even death. Some of these countries only provide their citizens with news that the government allows them to see. According to cpj.org, or the Committee to Protect Journalists, say that in Eritrea, an African country, 23 journalists are behind bars without trial and charges pressed against them. “These governments heavily censor expression and the freedom of the press,” Nichols said. “China recently passed a ban on puns and wordplay, because they believed that it was immoral.”

Amnesty International, being a human rights club, wanted to spread awareness in Smoky to the rights that even students have and how these rights are violated in different parts of the world. “ [We want students to have] awareness and thankfulness,” Nichols said. “Because we grow up very privileged, and we don’t necessarily know just how privileged we are with the opportunities that we are given with free speech.”
In the United States, journalists are protected under the First Amendment to publish without fear imprisonment, torture, or death. For any student wanting to receive more information, they can join Amnesty International after school on Thursdays in room II-809, or they can visit these sites to learn more:

http://www.voanews.com/content/world-marks-press-freedom-day/2746537.html

http://www.un.org/en/events/pressfreedomday/

http://cpj.org/

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