1 May 2001

NFFE ASKS HOW TO BUILD ON EXISTING FREEDOMS


The Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression (NFFE) is encouraging the media in Norway, one of the world's most open democracies, to mark World Press Freedom Day. NFFE points to a recent International Press Institute (IPI) report that found that no serious press freedom violations took place in Norway in 2000, and says the question regarding freedom of the press and freedom of expression is how to improve and expand upon existing freedoms.

The organisation also recognises that the global picture is not nearly so positive, with 52 journalists were murdered, more than 70 journalists imprisoned, and more than 200 publications censored in 2000.

In response to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) initiative to ask world leaders "What does press freedom mean to you?", Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg states that the freedom of print has been a basic right in Norway since 1814, and that "the right to express oneself freely is still fundamental to our democracy."

The prime minister adds that freedom of expression today "not only means preventing censorship and countering infringements of the free word. . . [it] also means broad and good public discussion, in particular through the mass media."

NFFE supports the prime minister's view.



 
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