Journalists should be free to pursue the truth without fear of censorship, harassment or arrest as they perform this life-saving service, says Miller
Earl Miller, United States ambassador in Bangladesh, has described journalists as genuine heroes for their work during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ramadan reminds us to think about and thank the front-line workers confronting this crisis. They perform remarkable acts of service every day – healthcare workers, police, people who work in the grocery stores and pharmacies and other businesses, so we have what we need to care for ourselves and our families,” he said at the official launching ceremony of an online Covid-19 course for doctors funded by the US government.
“I would add journalists. You provide what any vibrant democracy needs, especially in times of crisis – objective information, facts and the truth. The work of journalists, photojournalists and media outlets often comes with sacrifice, including here in Bangladesh …You are all genuine heroes … You deserve our immense gratitude,” he added.
“We honor the journalists who have fallen ill from COVID-19 and their selfless dedication to public service,” said the ambassador.
“On World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, the United States joined countries around the world reaffirming the universal right of free expression and the essential role press freedom plays in protecting democracy and keeping citizens informed and safe,” he said.
“This year, we paid special tribute to those journalists who work tirelessly, often under stressful and dangerous conditions, to inform the public about the Covid-19 pandemic,” Miller said.
“We honor all journalists, everywhere, who have sacrificed their lives, freedom and personal well-being in pursuit of truth and justice,” he said.
Press freedom plays an essential role in providing the facts and accurate information needed to keep citizens informed and safe amid the Covid-19 crisis and journalists should be free to pursue the truth without fear of censorship, harassment or arrest as they perform this life-saving service, he added.
Quoting Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and its third president, the envoy said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”