But last year was a bad one for press freedom, said President Barack Obama. More media workers “were killed for their work last year than any year in recent history,” reads the White House statement. “In this year, like in other years, nearly three out of four of the journalists killed were local news-gatherers who were murdered in their own nations.”
went on to acknowledge one local
journalist: Chauncey Bailey, who was gunned down three years ago in his own
Accountability and the need for more specific information in order to prosecute ongoing press freedom abuses is the impetus behind the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which the Senate unanimously passed last week. Identical to the bill that already passed the house, the legislation will now go to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.
Pearl’s life was an inspiration to all of us,” said Congressman
Adam Schiff (D-CA), founder of the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press,
who introduced the bill last year. “We hope this legislation will help the
legislation would require the State Department to expand its reporting on press
freedom to identify
countries in which there were violations of press freedom; determine whether
the government authorities of those countries participate in, facilitate, or
condone the violations; and report the actions such governments have taken to
preserve the safety and independence of the media and ensure the prosecution of
individuals who attack or murder journalists.