Why We Need Journalists
Journalists document the times, inform us of what’s going on in the world, teach us about other cultures, and expose injustice. This steady flow of information protects citizens from ignorance - which can cause misunderstandings, prejudice, mob violence, and even war. As citizens we are responsible to keep ourselves informed by reading and viewing news from a variety of sources. In this way, we can learn what constitutes a professional report, one based on facts. The more you read from reputable news organizations who support professional reporters, the more you will be able to get a clear view on what is going on and how it affects your life.
Reporters Without Borders is an organization that protects freedom of the press. Every year since 2002, they have produced the World Press Freedom Index, which measures the ability of journalists to deliver the news without restriction. Here is more about them taken from their website along with information on how you can help journalists around the world, from providing bullet-proof vests to training in physical and digital security:
Founded by four journalists in the southern French city Montpellier in 1985, RSF is now one of the world’s leading NGOs in the defense and promotion of freedom of information. Registered in France as a non-profit organization since 1995, RSF has distinguished itself in China, by its protests during the 2008 Beijing Olympics; in Africa, by creating the only independent radio station broadcasting to Eritreans in 2009; in Haiti, by creating a media support center after the January 2010 earthquake; and more recently in Syria by providing training to journalists and bloggers.
Reporters Without Borders USA (RSF USA) is the U.S. office of the global organization Reporters Sans Frontieres, the largest press freedom organization in the world with almost 30 years of experience. Thanks to its unique global network of 150 local correspondents investigating in 130 countries, 11 national offices (Austria, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Kingdom USA) and a consultative status at the UN and UNESCO, RSF is able to have a global impact, gather on-the-ground information, conduct major advocacy campaigns, and assist and defend news providers all across the world.
At Reporters Without Borders, our core belief is that it is only through freedom of information that one can verify the existence of all the other freedoms. Without free circulation of information, it is impossible to strengthen human rights protection, advance government accountability, and improve the reach and the quality of social justice and civil liberties. At RSF, we defend freedom of information as well as reporters and citizen reporters (netizens) whose work benefits ALL citizens. There are countries where the torturers stopped torturing when the media began talking about them, and corrupt politicians abandoned shady practices when investigative journalists published compromising information.
Freedom of information is fundamental in any democracy, but nearly half of the world’s population has no access to freely-reported news and information.
Freedom of expression and information is the first and most important of freedoms. How can we combat atrocities against civilians, tackle the tragedy of child soldiers, defend women’s rights or defend our environment if journalists aren’t free to report the facts, draw attention to abuses and appeal to the public’s conscience?
The World Press Freedom Index that we compile every year evaluates the level of freedom available to the media in 180 countries. We also publish regular thematic reports such as the “Enemies of the Internet” report in 2013, which turned the spotlight on the governments of countries such as China, Burma and North Korea that try to control the Internet.
You can help support journalists by contributing to RSF!