The Radio Television Digital News Association and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, Society of Professional Journalists and 11 other journalism and open government groups are showing their support for World Press Freedom Day with a resolution to advocate upholding the democratic process in the upcoming 2020 United States electoral campaign and recommitting themselves to the role of watchdog to guard against misinformation.
The groups worked on the resolution during the second day of last weekend’s media summit celebrating World Press Freedom Day, an event that the Society of Professional Journalists produced in New York called “Quo Vadis Democracy in an Age of Disinformation?” All in all, more than 30 media nonprofits were represented over the course of the weekend, with many of the delegates at the level of executive director, deputy director or president.
“The resolution is much more than a document,” said J. Alex Tarquinio, SPJ national president. “It is a reminder of the commitment we have as journalism and open government groups to protect and advocate for truth and the free flow of information to the public during this election season and beyond.”
“RTDNA is proud to stand behind this resolution, which reaffirms our longstanding commitment to, and advocacy for, the rights of all journalists to serve the public by seeking and reporting facts, which helps create more informed and educated societies,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director.
Those signing the resolution are: James W. Foley Legacy Foundation; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; National Press Photographers Association; National Society of Newspaper Columnists; Open the Government; PEN America; Public Radio News Directors Incorporated; Radio Television Digital News Association; Reporters Without Borders; Society of Environmental Journalists; Society for Features Journalism; Society of Professional Journalists and Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University.
World Press Freedom Day is celebrated each year on May 3 with events throughout the world leading up to and on this date. This annual celebration of the fundamental principles of press freedom was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 in response to a call by African journalists, who in 1991 announced the Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”
Last weekend’s event was made possible by a generous gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, with additional support from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and Rooney Partners.
The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to broadcast and digital journalism. RTDNA’s mission is to promote and protect responsible journalism. RTDNA defends the First Amendment rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards and provides members with training to encourage ethical standards, newsroom leadership and industry innovation. Become a member, support RTDNA and its press freedom efforts, and give to the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.
RTDNA formed the nonpartisan Voice of the First Amendment Task Force to defend against threats to the First Amendment and news media access, and to help the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. RTDNA is a founding partner of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the archive of record for threats against press freedom in America. Reach out to RTDNA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the SPJ Foundation.