The International Press Institute (IPI) is pleased to welcome two new corporate members from Bangladesh, Prothom Alo and The Daily Star, the country’s leading daily leading newspapers, respectively, in Bangla and English.

We are proud to stand with them and with you fighting for media freedom, and we know that our network’s shared commitment to this goal is what makes it great.

IPI members know that journalists need to operate free from interference and without fear of retaliation if they are to accomplish their core function of informing the public about what is happening in the world. That is why they have all committed to defend media freedom and the free flow of news wherever and whenever they are threatened.

Our new members Prothom Alo and The Daily Star share those values and fight the same fight that we do. We know that they will make IPI’s collective voice stronger and louder.

In a special Feb. 27, 2017 supplement for The Daily Star, columnist Meer Ahsan Habib gave voice to a belief held across IPI’s network of members, writing:

“In the age of communication technology and digital media, one thing that cannot be done is barring the flow of information and hindering people’s access to information … Free media constitutes the fourth pillar of democracy.”

But we also know that every country faces different challenges. In Bangladesh alone, there are still many obstacles to a free press. As Habib observed:

“Journalists and institutions that reject censorship and self-censorship risk different types of attacks either from the state itself or from powerful quarters who have the capacity to influence and use state institutions against the journalists. Those deemed too secular are also the target of Islamist groups. If the government is really committed to improve the scenario and ensure press freedom, it should not only formulate laws and policies conducive to press freedom but also establish new institutions and strengthen the existing ones that are closely related with press freedom.”

Our members face a myriad of challenges in their respective countries. Today our fight for media freedom needs to be stronger and our voice louder than ever as totalitarian governments, lack of rule of law and the rise of populism and fake news threaten quality journalism and the free flow of information.

Despite these challenges, IPI is proud to stand with its members, raising our voices to protect media freedom. We thank them for joining us in this fight and for being part of IPI.

Read Habib’s full comments in The Daily Star article “Protecting Press Freedom”.

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