YSU Observes World Press Freedom Day May 3

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Press Club at Youngstown State University will observe World Press Freedom Day by reading the names of journalists killed in the line of duty in 2018 and early 2019.

The event will take place May 3 at noon near the fountain outside Kilcawley Center at YSU. The observance is co-sponsored by The Jambar student newspaper and the campus charter of the Society for Collegiate journalists.

“It’s crucial we support the efforts of a free press,” said Mary Beth Earnheardt, YSU associate professor of journalism and Press Club executive director. “The fourth estate is a cornerstone to our democracy, and the United States is a relatively safe place for journalists. That isn’t the case throughout the world.”

In 2018, 80 journalists were killed worldwide, up from 50 the year before. Among those killed, Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and Saudi Arabian dissident, was assassinated Oct. 2 at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 3 as World Press Freedom Day to promote freedom of the press and highlight the duty of governments to uphold free expression according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognizes World Press Freedom Day with an annual assembly of press freedom advocates, media professionals and UN officials.

This year’s theme is the role of the media in elections and democracy. The conference – May 1 to 3 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – will be accompanied by about 100 national events worldwide.

In 2018, the Youngstown Press Club was chartered to “unite Mahoning Valley media professionals through fellowship and education,” according to a release. Some 60 active members, including media members and YSU students, enjoy professional development opportunities.

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