IABC joins eight other communication and public relations organizations in issuing a statement in support of a free press globally

Type: Featured
By iabc_admin
16 August 2018

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”                 

~ Thomas Jefferson

This oft-cited quote conveys the fundamental importance of today’s free press despite its articulation before electronic, digital and social media were invented. The dramatic expression by a founding father who was brutally criticized by the media of his time underscores that the standing of a free press transcends politics, geographies or other affiliations.

Today we join with our compatriots in the news media to proudly affirm the Fourth Estate as a vital engine of democracy. Without it, and without freedom of thought and expression as provided by the First Amendment, informed decision-making is not possible and individual freedoms suffer. From a global perspective, journalism serves all people through ethical pursuit of the truth.

As organizations devoted to professionals across the communications industry, we are dependent on a free press, and rely upon it as we speak honestly and fearlessly on behalf of ourselves, our companies, clients and causes. A free press provides citizens access to information and opinions so they can make their own judgments.

We collaboratively declare our support for journalists who bravely seek the truth, focus on facts, and hold government, business and other institutions accountable.


The American Advertising Federation, www.aaf.org


The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, https://bellisario.psu.edu/page-center


The Arthur W. Page Society, www.awpagesociety.com


The Commission on Public Relations Education, www.commissionpred.org


The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, www.globalalliancepr.org


The Institute for Public Relations, www.instituteforpr.org


The International Association of Business Communicators, www.iabc.com


The Public Relations Council, www.prcouncil.net


The Public Relations Society of America, www.prsa.org


IABC Press Contact: Mike Holden

Phone: +1 415.544.4700

Email: mholden@iabc.com




  1. Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO) proudly supports IABC and the communications organizations that uphold the free press and we support the dedicated journalists whose training and skill empower them to speak and write the truth.

  2. Well said, Jill. I’m proud of IABC for taking a stand for the fress press and free speech — a core element of our Code of Ethics. I’m also grateful to Tony D’Angelo, National Chair of PRSA for coordinating this group of professional associations.

  3. More than ever we are exposed to rubbish commentary and fake news, but this bold statement speaks to the role and integrity of the fourth estate which must be valued and protected in any democracy so the true enemies of the people do not move into the chaos and void they create. For the sake of shared responsibility in our democracy, to which we, in the organizational communication field, contribute and for which, by our code of ethics, we defend, I congratulate and thank leaders of our combined organizations for taking this stand. It’s the right thing to do.

  4. Accountability is essential in a free and fair society. An ethical, professional media is critical in holding organizations and individuals to account.

    We have reached the point where we don’t just have the responsibility to defend the code of ethics of our professional bodies, but we need to openly advocate and educate wider communities as to why civil society needs those freedoms protected.

    Let’s break through the walls of our industry and be there to enlighten the misinformed and the dejected as to the truth and perspective which is available to them.

    For this does not require conflict with someone’s personal views, but through the use of stories from history we can show the true outcomes from such attacks on the free press and free speech.

    Thank you IABC, I hope that CIPR and PRCA in the UK will come on board.

  5. This is exactly the kind of leadership PR and Communications associations should be showing. Bravo! Proud to support it. Perhaps the British and other international member societies of the Global Alliance might be more inclined to sign on if the message were more international in scope. (Just sayin’ .. sorry, I’m Canadian.)

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