PJ Crowley, State Department spokesman:
“…the United States is pleased to announce that we’ll host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in 2011 from May 1 to May 3 here in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate to promote freedom of expression, and its corollary, freedom of the press. The theme for this commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. Obviously, we decided upon this before the latest round of news.
“The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. There certainly is an irony here. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to the exercise of freedom of – for the right of freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor or silence individuals and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.”