Defending Press Freedom in the 21st Century

May 03, 2011
10:00 am - 04:00 pm


Wael Abbas
Egyptian Journalist and Blogger

Mariane Pearl
Journalist and author; widow of Daniel Pearl

Irina Bokova
Director General, UNESCO

Representative Adam Schiff
U.S. House of Representatives

Joined by

Esther Brimmer
Assistant Secretary of State, International Organization Affairs

Michael Posner
Assistant Secretary of State, Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Moderated by

David Killion
U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO

Hosted by

Carl Gershman
President, National Endowment for Democracy

This event was organized in coordination with the World Press Freedom Day conference that took place in Washington, DC, May 1-3, 2011 at the Newseum and National Press Club. This was the first time since World Press Freedom Day was established nearly 20 years ago that the United States has hosted the celebration. The event marked the first anniversary of the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, which calls for a focus on freedom of the press issues in the State Department’s annual human rights reports on countries. The discussion focused on the important role independent media play in democratic and economic development worldwide, with an emphasis on the innovative media platforms that are democratizing how people voice their opinions and access information – and how these must be protected.

About the Sponsors

The Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press was organized in May 2006.  The bipartisan, bicameral caucus is co-chaired by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Michael Pence (R-IN), and Richard Lugar (R-IN).  It aims to advance press freedom by creating a forum to combat and condemn media censorship and the persecution of journalists worldwide.

The Center for International Media Assistance, an initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy, brings together a broad range of media experts with the goal of strengthening the support for and improving the effectiveness of media assistance programs by providing information, building networks, and conducting research on the indispensable role independent media play in creating sustainable democracies around the world.