(CMR) Governor Martyn Roper paid tribute to the local press on World Press Freedom Day, Tuesday, 3 May. The day was celebrated under the theme “Journalism Under Digital Siege.”
“I would like to pay tribute to our local press for the important contribution they make towards our democracy,” he said in a Facebook post.
Mr. Roper said media freedom is a cornerstone of all democratic societies as the press inform the public and help hold the Government and the Civil Service to account.
“The press is a medium that informs the people, but it cannot function fully if the press is not free. And, without a free press democracy cannot exist,” he stated.
This year's theme focused on the ways in which the media is endangered by digital attacks and the consequences this has on public trust in the press.
Governor Roper pointed out how the Russia/Ukraine war has shown the need for press freedom.
“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, we’ve heard about the country’s clampdown on press freedom. President Putin’s censorship law effectively criminalized independent news reporting about the war and the Russian government has also blocked some international news sources,” he explained.
He reiterated that the war in Ukraine demonstrates how vital the press is in counteracting misinformation and protecting fundamental freedoms.
“Now more than ever it is important to celebrate press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. My thanks to Cayman’s media for all they do in support of our democracy,” he added.