US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joins RSF for 2023 World Press Freedom Index launch
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) looks forward to further collaboration with the US administration following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s appearance at RSF’s World Press Freedom Day event.
In an event to commemorate World Press Freedom Day and to launch the 2023 World Press Freedom Index, RSF partnered with the Washington Post to present a live program featuring conversations with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, esteemed journalists from around the globe, and RSF US Bureau Director Clayton Weimers.
Secretary Blinken spoke with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius about the global state of press freedom and the urgent need to protect journalists and media workers.
“We’re trying to fight back and push back around the world to help journalists, who – in one way or another, are facing intimidation, coercion, persecution, prosecution, surveillance" said the US Secretary of State. During his remarks, Blinken also reiterated the administration’s support for the release of US journalists Austin Tice and Evan Gershkovich.
“Secretary Blinken made clear it’s important for Washington to ‘walk the walk’ on press freedom. The US government has an important role to play in promoting press freedom and leading by example in upholding those values itself, and RSF will continue to hold it accountable on both fronts. Through sustained engagement with the US government and partners all over the world, we can make the world safer and more hospitable for independent journalism.
Following the event, RSF US Bureau Executive Director Clayton Weimers met with Secretary Blinken and discussed a number of priorities, including securing the release of wrongfully detained American journalists Austin Tice and Evan Gershkovich and launching a credible investigation into the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen. They also discussed expanded US participation in the Partnership on Information and Democracy and RSF’s unique proposal of a ‘reciprocity mechanism’ to combat state propaganda. RSF looks forward to working with Secretary Blinken in the coming months to achieve progress on these fronts and many others.
The US is currently ranked 45th on the World Press Freedom Index, a drop of three places from 2022. The US’s score is a reflection of continued safety concerns for journalists, the disappearance of local news, recent failures to strengthen the legal framework protecting media freedom, the increase in partisan media, and the overall consolidation of media ownership.