Press – Freedom. A free flow of information, whether analog, in the form of paper, or
online publications, or social networks, is key to a free society. The degree of press
freedom in a country says lot about the condition of a country, and there are places where
the press isn't free. In Germany, press freedom is anchored in the constitution.
Christoph Strässer – German Commissioner on Human Rights Policy
«The press often annoys us. But if we were no longer annoyed, and there were no longer
a free press, democracy in this country would not be possible. And press freedom is
closely linked to the universal declaration on human rights, and we would do well to
promote it worldwide, to see it implemented, because for me, free societies without press
freedom are unthinkable.“
It's not just the law that oversees press freedom in Germany. The non-governmental
organisation „Reporters without Borders“ flags up problems at home and abroad. It also
gives a voice to persecuted journalists in other countries, and sometimes, protection.
Christian Mihr – NGO „Reporter ohne Grenzen“
«We help journalists and activists who are in difficult situations from here in Berlin, by
paying legal fees if they are unfairly facing legal proceedings, if people have been wrongly
imprisoned, we do alot of that in Iran for example. In the worst cases, we try and facilitate
people going into exile, and help them with their asylum applications.“
Deutsche Welle's Academy has devoted itself to encouraging the creation of a free press
in other countries. Funded by the taxpayer, but independent in terms of its content, the
Academy provides further training for foreign journalists and promotes the development of
independent media.
Mathis Winkler – Deutsche Welle Academy
«In countries like Tunisia we even advise the government on how to deal with the press in
terms of publicity, press spokesmen etc. It's not about helping the government hide from
the public, it's about having professional public relations activities which ultimately benefits
the media and the people.“
Press freedom is a pillar of democratic societies. But it can't be taken for granted. Around
the world, people are persecuted, locked up and sometimes even murdered, because they
stand up for this right. World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May reminds us of that