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K00798 Summary:

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K00798 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 798
BY: M. of A. Lavine
        MEMORIALIZING  Governor  Kathy  Hochul to proclaim
        May 3, 2022, as Press Freedom Day in  the  State  of
        New  York,  in  conjunction  with  the observance of
        World Press Freedom Day
  WHEREAS, It is the custom of  this  Legislative  Body  to  recognize
official days that are set aside to increase awareness; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant  to  such  concern,  and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this  Legislative  Body  is  justly  proud  to
memorialize  Governor  Kathy  Hochul  to  proclaim May 3, 2022, as Press
Freedom Day in the State of New York, in conjunction with the observance
of World Press Freedom Day; and
  WHEREAS, In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May
3rd of each year as World Press Freedom Day to celebrate the fundamental
principles of freedom of the press; evaluate freedom of the press around
the world; defend against attacks on the independence of the media;  and
pay  tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of
their profession; and
  WHEREAS, The 2018 World Press Freedom Index published  by  Reporters
Without  Borders  (RSF) warned that "Hostility towards the media, openly
encouraged by  political  leaders,  and  the  efforts  of  authoritarian
regimes   to  export  their  vision  of  journalism  pose  a  threat  to
democracies."; and
  WHEREAS, Freedom of the press, a cornerstone of American  democracy,
is  enshrined  in  the  first amendment to the Constitution; it helps to
promote a more transparent government, one that involves  both  citizens
and residents; and
  WHEREAS,  Journalists  and  media  workers  from  New York State and
around the world should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens
of this great  Empire  State  for  their  essential  role  in  promoting
government    accountability,   defending   democratic   activity,   and
strengthening civil society, despite threats  to  the  safety  of  those
journalists and media workers; it is important they are able to do their
job without fear or repercussions; and
  WHEREAS,  There  have  been seven New York Journalists who have died
while doing their job since  New  York  became  a  state:  Lynde  Walter
Buckingham,  New York Herald, died on June 23, 1863, in Aldie, Virginia,
as a result of an ambush during the U.S. Civil  War;  Carlo  Tresca,  II
Martello  (The  Hammer),  died  on  January  11, 1943, in New York City,
believed to have been killed by a hitman;  Manuel  de  Dios  Unanue,  El
Diario  La  Prensa,  died  on  March  11,  1992, in Queens, New York, by
Colombian drug traffickers; Bill Biggart, Freelance  photographer,  died
on  September  11,  2001,  in  Lower  Manhattan,  New  York  City, while
photographing the rescue effort outside the  World  Trade  Center;  Paul
Klebnikov, American journalist, died on July 9, 2004, in Moscow, Russia,
after being shot by unknown assailants; Chris Hondros, American Pulitzer
Prize nominated photojournalist, was killed on April 20, 2011, in Libya;
and  Marie  Colvin,  Award  Winning Journalist, was murdered in 2012, in
Syria, while covering  the  Syrian  Civil  War,  it  was  said  she  was
specifically  targeted  because  of  her  profession, for the purpose of
silencing  those  reporting  on  the  growing opposition movement in the
country; and
  WHEREAS, Challenges  to  free  speech  and  expression  appear  more
frequently and in many more forms; and
  WHEREAS,  For  the  first  time, in the reports 23 year history, RSF
added the United  States  to  the  2018  deadliest  places  to  practice
journalism worst offenders list; and
  WHEREAS,  The  group's  findings  underscore  the  rising  animosity
journalists across the world have encountered in the past year; and
  WHEREAS, The valuable and respected work of journalists  often  puts
them  at  specific  risk  of  intimidation, harassment and violence, the
presence of which often deters journalists from continuing their work or
encourages self-censorship, consequently depriving society of  important
information; and
  WHEREAS,  This  Legislative  Body  is  deeply concerned by all human
rights violations and abuses committed in  relation  to  the  safety  of
journalists  and  media  workers,  including  killing, torture, enforced
disappearance, arbitrary  arrest  and  arbitrary  detention,  expulsion,
intimidation,  harassment,  threats and acts of other forms of violence;
  WHEREAS,  Freedom  of  the  press  enhances  public  accountability,
transparency,   and   participation  in  civil  society  and  democratic
governance; and
  WHEREAS, It is imperative that journalist know  they  are  protected
when  doing  their  job,  and  that  there  be greater awareness of this
serious issue; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its  deliberations  to
memorialize  Governor  Kathy  Hochul  to  proclaim May 3, 2022, as Press
Freedom Day in the State of New York, in conjunction with the observance
of World Press Freedom Day; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this  Resolution,  suitably  engrossed,  be
transmitted  to The Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of the State of New
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