Some of these stories may seem more relevant to Americans than others; the soaring murder rate in Central America helps fuel immigration to the United States. But no matter how remote their coverage may seem, these International Press Freedom Award winners share a conviction that is as essential to Americans as everyone else: Democracy cannot function unless citizens can be informed, through fair news coverage and not propaganda, of the activities of their rulers.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization, noted recently that U.S. attitudes toward the press can have an outsized influence across the world. In a Nov. 17 letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was a founding member of the Congressional Caucus for the Freedom of the Press, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon warned of “the danger that harassment of the press in the United States will be used as a pretext by repressive leaders around the world to persecute their critics.”
“President-elect Trump has obstructed major news organizations, attacked reporters by name, and contributed to a threatening climate for journalists covering the election,” Mr. Simon wrote. “These actions in the United States set a terrible example for the rest of the world.”