Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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World Press Freedom Day


On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (May 3), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to once again express gratitude to all journalists and assure them of the continued suppor from Czechia. Freedom of speech and the press are the cornerstones of democracy and journalists play a key role in their protection.

Support for freedom of expression and the media is among the long-term priorities of Czech foreign policy. This year's World Press Freedom Day is dedicated to emphasizing the importance of journalism in the context of current global environmental challenges. In this regard, we pay tribute to journalists around the world who tackle environmental issues, sometimes at great risk to their own safety.

Independent and pluralistic media face growing challenges both in Europe and globally. They operate in increasingly dangerous conditions, both in conflict zones and beyond. Brave journalists and media workers, especially women and minority voices, are increasingly being subjected to threats and attacks, including online and offline harassment, disinformation campaigns, abuse of the legal system, and the closure of newsrooms. The persecution of independent journalists in the Russian Federation and Belarus is particularly troubling.

The challenges faced by media workers also include economic challenges and difficulties in trying to maintain a news model that ensures both quality and independence. Through the Transformation Cooperation Program, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides over 25 million Czech crowns annually for projects supporting independent media, media literacy, and journalist trainings, including initiatives focused on combating disinformation. As a member of Media Freedom Coalition, Czechia actively advocates for the support and protection of independent media and journalists. It also financially supports the UNESCO Global Media Defence Fund.

We also help endangered journalists in a practical way through visa support when they need to leave their place of work urgently for security reasons. "In response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, over the past two years, Czechia has issued over a thousand Schengen visas for independent activists and journalists who have been forced to leave their homeland. We are interested in making Czechia a second home for some of them, from where they could continue their work," Minister Lipavský stated on the matter.

The current war in Europe clearly underscores the importance of free press as a source of independent and verified information that leads to appropriate response of democratic governments. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to appreciate the tireless efforts of all brave journalists and media workers who remain determined to provide the public with independent and verified information despite all the risks of their profession, and assure them of continued support from Czechia. Likewise, we want to express our gratitude and ongoing support to all our partners who help us fight for freedom of expression and the media worldwide. In the face of unprecedented global challenges, we must protect and promote media freedom - it is more important today than ever before.