Churches and Christians Challenged to Protect Press Freedom

Earlier in the week, Christians in Media attended a lecture by Ted Olsen Lecture given at St Bride's Church, London. The event was incredibly powerful and informative. The following is a brief overview of some of the key points that may be of interest.

Religious groups and individual believers should act to help journalists facing death and imprisonment around the world. The plea was made by Courtney Radsch, Director of Advocacy at the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, speaking at St Bride’s, Fleet Street, London, last night (March 8th).

Speaking just feet away from the chapel where journalists who have been killed, imprisoned or ‘disappeared’ are remembered, Courtney Radsch called on churches and other faith groups to protect journalists’ freedom.

She praised the Pope for making a speech calling for media freedom and told the audience at ‘the Journalists’ Church’ that supporting a free press ensured that breaches of religious freedom would also be highlighted and challenged.

Individual believers could champion quality journalism by being willing to pay for their news, by refusing to decry reporting with which they disagreed as ‘fake news’ and to value the role that journalists play in bringing new information to light.

Although Turkey, China and Egypt were the top three jailers of journalists, a free press was under pressure in many other countries around the world. In the US, President Trump had issued around 1300 tweets attacking or being critical of the press.

Conditions for journalists were worse now than for many years. Around 250 are currently in prison, and 54 have been killed in the last year. But there were signs that the media organisations were fighting back.

An international alliance of media groups now regularly focussed on the plight of the journalists most in danger, and worked together to support them.

The Christians in Media Day of Prayer for the Media is on Sunday November 3rd. More details and prayers for the media can be found at: https://www.christiansinmedia.co.uk/pray4media