If the world is serious about a free press, we – governments, philanthropists and readers – must be prepared to invest in high-quality journalism as a public good, as Sweden, among others, has done. As the state of today’s media shows, it won’t happen on its own.

Apart from being among the fundamental human rights and liberties, the freedom of expression makes a criterion of respect for all other rights. We stand up for the law, despite being unprotected by the law nowadays.

In recent years we have observed an obvious change in the threats to press freedom. Previously this was seen as a black and white issue, and the assumption was that in a democratic state the media is free, while censorship prevails in authoritarian regimes and dictatorships where the media are directly controlled by the government.

En el caso de México, el Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas para la libertad de expresión, quien visitó el país en 2010, señaló varios problemas. Asimismo, algunos avances han tenido lugar desde entonces, por ejemplo a través del Mecanismo de Protección para Personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, pero se necesita hacer más.

Tyst film om yttrandefrihet

Den 2 december fyller offentlighetsprincipen och den första svenska tryckfrihetsförordningen 250 år. Den äldsta i sitt slag. För att särskilt uppmärksamma årsdagen lanserar UD en film som pekar på vikten av yttrandefrihet.

The film #FreeTheSpeech is an integral part of the campaign ‘#FreeSpeechGreaterIdeas #DefendingFreeSpeech’ being run by the Ministry together with Swedish embassies. Throughout the year, events have been hosted by embassies in collaboration with different organisations to increase awareness about the benefits of freedom of expression and transparency.

Today, we have over 100 access to information laws around the world. These laws – protecting the public’s right to know – are increasingly important to keep citizens informed and involved. But the implementation of these laws is fragile in a digital world.

I was honoured to be part of the first celebration by UNESCO of the International Access to Information Day. It was a joy to catch the Photo exhibition of Sweden’s 250 years anniversary of the Freedom of Press Act.

A pen, a laptop plus a notebook – seemingly innocuous tools, but in the hands of journalists those remedies hold enormous potency.

Being an independent journalist in Mexico means living in uncertainty. Over the 45 years I have practiced uncertainty has undergone profound changes.