2011 Communication and Information News and Events
U.S. Hosts World Press Freedom Day 2011
The United States hosted UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day 2011, from May 1 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press.
The U.S. supports UNESCO's efforts through its active participation in the International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC) Council, which works to promote free and independent media in developing countries around the world. We were one of the founding members of the program over twenty-five years ago, and since 2003 have supported projects in Central Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The theme for this year's commemoration was 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. As Secretary Clinton noted in her remarks on internet freedom this year, "the internet can serve as a great equalizer. By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunities where none exist."
On May 3rd, UNESCO awarded the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to imprisoned Iranian journalist, Ahmed Zeidabadi, for his courageous efforts to defend freedom of expression in the face of government censure and repression. The Guillermo Cano Prize honors a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom, especially where great risks have been involved.