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Voice of America Marks World Press Freedom Day with New Initiative

VOA Africa Division Director Negussie Mengesha in his native Ethiopia
VOA Africa Division Director Negussie Mengesha in his native Ethiopia

Today the Voice of America launched its press freedom project in observation of World Press Freedom Day. The campaign will document the challenges, threats and intimidation facing journalists worldwide, and the creative and courageous ways that journalists are using to deliver news despite serious risks.

The campaign’s tag line “A Free Press Matters” is now a permanent part of VOA’s brand identify. A new press freedom microsite on the agency’s English language news site,, will feature relevant content contributed by VOA’s global broadcasting teams. A new press freedom beat in VOA’s News Center will curate and showcase press freedom stories with a particular emphasis on the regions where its audiences are based.

Video reports such as VOA Africa division director Negussie Mengesha’s reflections on the emergence of new press freedoms in his native Ethiopia during his first visit to the country in more than 40 years after being forced out by censorship, and a profile of three news outlets in Caracas, Venezuela, reporting the news while the country is crumbling around them, are just some examples of the stories found on this new site.

“Given that press freedom is on the decline globally, VOA is embarking on an agency-wide effort to highlight the importance of the issue and expand our journalism about press freedom,” said VOA Director, Amanda Bennett.

A number of other initiatives, such as press freedom training opportunities, are still in the planning stages.