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‘Attacks on press freedom, here and abroad, endanger democracy’




Roy Gutterman

Roy Gutterman

Roy Gutterman, associate professor of journalism and online journalism and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Newhouse School, wrote an article for Attacks on press freedom, here and abroad, endanger democracy. Gutterman is an expert in communication law and first change.

Gutterman writes that in 1991, a group of international journalists and press freedom activists came together to write them Windhoek Statement on Promoting an Independent, Pluralistic African Press, who outlined the principles of press freedom for media, governments and citizens across the globe. Gutterman says the statement came at a time when emerging democracies needed the ideals of a free press as America set the standard. The document is celebrated annually on UNESCO World Press Freedom Day, 3 May.

Now, 30 years later, Gutterman says these issues of press freedom are now hitting much closer to home, not just in seemingly remote places. Although our First Amendment is a symbol and statement to the world regarding the constitutional and legal protection afforded to the press and speech, anti-press political rhetoric over the past few years has sought to minimize defenses and reduce the role of the institutional press. Writes Gutterman.

Part of the Guttermans mission in leading e Tully Center for Free Speech is to support the work of journalists who risk their lives in the name of free speech. Gutterman says this week the Tully Center will give him an award Igor Rudnikov, a Russian journalist who survived an assassination attempt and was jailed for more than a year for running a newspaper that was critical of the Russian leadership. There are people like Rudnikov, writes Gutterman, who uphold the original principles of the Windhoek Declaration and are committed to telling the truth.

To read his essay in its entirety, visit

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