Information is as important to human life as water, oil, gas, air and other resources.
Like any resource, information can be used for good or for ill.
As a professional diplomat I know information can cause wars and can end wars. It can enlighten and it can deceive.
In today’s world we face a flood of information.
That is why the role of professional journalists is so important. Journalists not only seek information and convey information but they also provide needed context for people to understand information and react to it.
That is why we all must encourage and protect the responsibility of professional journalists to provide people with objective information and context, to allow people to make informed choices and to behave responsibly. Responsible, professional journalism is vital to the stable functioning of any democratic society.
Journalism is also a very difficult and even dangerous profession. Many journalists around the world have suffered and even died in their pursuit of truth and objectivity.
On this day devoted to Press Freedom, let us therefore bow our heads to the journalists around the globe who suffer and those who have died for the sake of their profession, for the sake of truth, for our own sake as free peoples.