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World Press Freedom Day: Understand Its Importance and Significance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Today the world celebrates the World Press Freedom Day, a fundamental right that not only upholds the integrity of information but also serves as a guardian for the maintenance of democracy. However, have you ever stopped to reflect about the impact that this freedom has on your life and the society in which you live?

Press freedom is a right guaranteed by law

To those of you who don’t know, it ensures that journalists have the ability to investigate and disseminate information freely, promoting access to information for the population, as established in Article 5 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution. This is a prerogative that transcends the sphere of those who exercise it directly.

According to lawyer Patricia Brandão, freedom of expression is a fundamental right that stems from the right to information. The specialist who takes care of cases of freedom of speech says its impact extends not only to communicators who have the right to freely express their thoughts and positions through the media, but also to citizens eager for information.

“Press freedom affects both those who produce the content and those who are its recipients. It is one of the fundamental principles of our democracy,” explains Patricia.

The date received its first legal protection as a fundamental right in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, marking the beginning of the Bill of Rights (1689). In Brazil, the 1988′ Constitution helped to enshrine journalistic freedom. Meaning that press freedom has direct applicability and is protected against changes in various charters of government.

The importance of press freedom for democracy

Brazil escalated 18 positions in the global press freedom ranking in 2023, according to a survey conducted by the NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF). In 2022, the country ranked 110th out of 180 nations. Now, it appears in 92nd place.

For the BandNews TV presenter Cassius Zeilmann, press freedom is indispensable to journalists once it sheds light on facts that are often obscure.

“It is essential for us to be able to do a good job and not feel intimidated or threatened in any kind of intimidation,” he says.

The journalist also recounts having difficulty exercising his profession when he covered stories about public security: “I believe that most professionals who cover these types of issues related to criminal organizations, to factions, end up suffering some type of intimidation.”

Press freedom is essential for a free and just society to allow people to consciously challenge the excesses of governments. History teaches us that authoritarian regimes often discredit the press when it exposes their flaws, highlighting the importance of protecting and valuing journalistic freedom of expression.

Therefore, the right must play a crucial role in limiting state power, enabling the population to have discernment about the events of the world and allowing abuses of power to be criticized.

What are the limits to press freedom?

Although fundamental to the nature of a democratic state, press freedom must be exercised responsibly and subject to certain limitations. According to Brandão, the limits of press freedom lie in balance with other fundamental rights and constitutional principles. From there, the limits can be assessed.

“For example, is press freedom violating the privacy of the person about whom the media outlet made a story? This is a question. Is press freedom based on false premises to disseminate false content? It is another limit,” she explains.

Press freedom is a fundamental pillar of the democratic regime, playing a crucial role in containing abuses and excesses of power, directly influencing public opinion. However, to continue to perform its vital function, press freedom must respect the limits established in the constitutional text.


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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Giovanna Machado

Casper Libero '25

Journalism student at Cásper Líbero, passionate about communication and writing, 18 years old, sagittarius, and love a good article.