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WHO Should Work To Protect Public Health Rather Than ‘Attack’ Press Freedom

The Hill: United Nations works against press freedom when it comes to world health arm
Drew Johnson, journalist and public policy analyst

“Freedom of the press is under attack by the very organization that is supposed to be its greatest advocate: the United Nations. The U.N. does host World Press Freedom Day … [b]ut it’s hard to take the event seriously when the World Health Organization — the U.N.’s global public health arm — bans journalists from meetings, blacklists reporters who are critical of the agency, and awards high-profile events to countries that don’t allow a free press. … The WHO’s attacks on the values of press freedom underscores the reality that the organization is bad at its job and doesn’t want people to know it. … Clearly, the WHO has plenty to hide. But trying to keep its shortcomings secret by launching an assault against press freedom is not the solution. Rather than spending time and energy silencing journalists, the U.N. should focus its efforts on getting its house in order and doing a better job of protecting public health” (12/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.