Free speech is a fundamental building block of democracy
In honor of World Press Freedom Day, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec hosted a reception on May 7, focusing on the importance of free media in a democracy and how free speech must be safeguarded from efforts to erode it. Over 100 members from all media outlets throughout Kenya attended the event, including editors, publishers, and social media professionals.
Ambassador Godec impressed upon the attendees how important it is for members of the media to have the freedom to investigate, research, write and publish.
“They must have the freedom to go about their business, and their business is to report honestly, whether or not their reports make the government or anyone else uncomfortable. The media have an obligation to hold us all accountable,” he said.
Ambassador Godec stressed how free speech is a fundamental building block of democracy, and it is stronger when it includes women and professionals from a diversity of regions and religions in Kenya. The importance of true and accurate reporting of events with a process of accountability was emphasized, and Ambassador Godec complimented Kenya on its development and successes in the media, including social media.
While stressing the commitment to freedom of expression, Ambassador Godec highlighted the bond between the United States and Kenya and a future with both countries continuing to work together.