May 3rd World Press Freedom Day

Freedom of the press has been long fought for and in most countries, fairly won. For centuries the only news that got out to the people was whatever the controlling government of that country wanted the people to hear. It rarely was true, when it was it was one sided and often omitted many of the facts.

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After World War 2 many countries allowed their press to begin to right a lot of those wrongs. Newspapers, radio and television could report what was going on and why it was happening. Naturally there are always two sides to a story, but for the most part, the reporters tried to tell the truth. On May 3rd, 1993 the UN General Assembly created today to honor the freedom of the press.

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The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize honors those reporters who struggled to report the truth, often giving their lives in their efforts. That is why a lot of the press today should be ashamed of the way they report. The term reporter means to reveal a story, the facts, not as they assume them to be but only after they have investigated their sources and exposed the truth. It is not to speculate or give an opinion, it is all about the facts.

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It seems with the invention of the 24 hour news television networks the idea of reporting news became more competitive and often these same reporters had to create stories rather than report on them. Like so much of what is going on today in the world, it is about what someone thinks than what someone knows.

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It would be nice to know that we could trust what we hear. Most local radio and television stations do report the truth, it’s the national ones you have to be careful of. Their motto seems to have changed from reporting the news to making the news.

How to celebrate – Honor the true reporters of the world. Start a career in journalism. Compare the old newspapers to the new ones.

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