World Press Freedom Day, a non-celebration

When it is announced that it is World Press Freedom Day, and we consider the opinions that this celebration raises, we find a large number of complaints and claims regarding the lack of freedom that the press suffers, which is manifested in various pressures exerted by the authorities and media owners, in terms of requests not to disseminate certain news, to apply restrictions on journalists and communicators, to the existence of overt or covert censorship that many must comply with self-censorship for fear of losing their source of employment.

This is happening at a time when the press departments of many media outlets are being downsized and reduced, under the pretext that digital communication is better than paper in the case of newspapers, forgetting that not all people use computers or mobile phones for immediate information. In the case of radio, the broadcasting of news on most stations has been significantly reduced, being replaced by music or miscellaneous programmes. In the case of television, news coverage is mainly aimed at broadcasting images that have an impact, generally sporting and/or violent events.

All of the above is a product of the creation and existence of real communication holdings that, on the one hand, seek to finance their existence through advertising that encourages consumerism. On the other hand, their communication policy corresponds to the maintenance of a public to which it is necessary to provide elements that do not allow a critical view of the facts, thus being functional to the needs of a system that uses the media to perpetuate itself and avoid changes.

What is freedom of the press when the right to truthful information is not respected? How is it possible to think of freedom in a system that does not fully allow it? How can the press collaborate with the urgent need for people to look critically at their reality in order to think and improve?

A humanist response points us to the great responsibility of creating media that truly foster that freedom centered on life and overcoming suffering, changing the current state of affairs that limits and conditions us. The only freedom of the press that counts is one where journalists are not censored, banned or expelled from the media and where the media are at the service of the truth.

Convergencia de las Culturas