IABC Statement: We stand for freedom of the press
On behalf of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and communication professionals around the world, we condemn the recent decision by Russian lawmakers to further gag independent media coverage of its invasion of Ukraine.
As reported by Radio Free Europe, legislation was passed on 4 March that would criminalize anyone who publishes news that discredits the armed forces of the Russian Federation during its “military operation” in Ukraine.
This latest development follows a clamping down on local and international media outlets and social media platforms to censor and control the free flow of information. The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported numerous examples of Russian media being closed or blocked, forcing the Russian public to rely on state-approved interpretation of events.
We encourage all leaders and communication professionals around the world “to support the ideals of free speech, freedom of assembly and access to an open marketplace of ideas” (IABC Code of Ethics).
Disinformation has been used as a weapon in escalating this crisis and further steps to constrain a free press is of grave concern.
We stand alongside journalists everywhere and support their right to report news safely and without fear of reprisal.
For those who would like to contribute to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine in other ways, below are a few examples of credible organizations seeking support.
UNICEF is supporting health, nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the conflict in Ukraine.
Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
MSF is conducting a range of activities in Ukraine to help people travel to health care facilities and access prescribed medications.
International Committee of the Red Cross
The Switzerland-based international organization seeks to help people affected by the conflict and support the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Save the Children
The London-based organization helps deliver essential humanitarian aid to vulnerable children in Ukraine and around the world.
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