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Joint statement by DG7 on critical role of freedom of information

A group of the world’s leading international broadcasters say that freedom of information and access to fact-based, verifiable journalism is critical to peace.

The statement, issued on behalf of the representatives of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) [Australia], British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) [United Kingdom], the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) [US], Deutsche Welle (DW) [Germany], France Médias Monde [FMM], Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) [Japan] and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), said:

“We, the members of the DG7, at our annual meeting this year in Tokyo November 30-December 1, have reaffirmed our support for global freedom of information and expression, articulated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The DG7 comprises publicly funded international media organizations from seven democratic nations: Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented by their respective directors general or chief executive officers

Following the recent attacks in Paris and ongoing extremist violence in many parts of the world, including the Middle East and North Africa, the African Sahel, and South Asia, we condemn the contributing role of information as a weapon of terror and tool for recruitment of extremists.

We further note the continued decline of media freedom around the world as documented by international organizations such as Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders.

It is in this environment that we renew our call for unfettered access by citizens everywhere to free flows of fact-based, verifiable journalism. This we do in recognition of the critical role freedom of information and freedom of expression play in supporting peaceful and prosperous societies.”