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February 04, 2011

PRSA Condemns Attacks on Journalists and Free Press in Egypt

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) today condemned the persecution of journalists and their basic freedoms of the press in response to unprecedented physical attacks on journalists and the detention of reporters by the Egyptian government and its supporters during the ongoing uprisings in Egypt.

“The reports and images coming out of Egypt of journalists being hunted and intimidated by gangs in an effort to suppress their reporting of the uprisings and protests are deeply disturbing,” said PRSA Chair and CEO Rosanna M. Fiske, APR. “PRSA firmly believes in the freedom of the press as a vital component to building and sustaining democratic societies. We support the Obama Administration’s efforts to end this severe harassment of journalists in order to restore their professional rights.”

Fiske further expressed PRSA’s outrage at the attacks on journalists in a letter to the editor submitted to The New York Times, on behalf of PRSA and its 32,000 professional and student members.

PRSA Letter to the Editor — The New York Times

To the Editor:
The chilling reports of journalists being attacked and hunted by those in favor of the Egyptian government speak to the desperate situation enveloping the region (“Gangs Hunt Journalists and Rights Workers,” Feb. 3). At a time of grave civil and political unrest throughout the Middle East, it’s disconcerting that the very people who help enlighten the world to Egyptians’ efforts to take back their country and their freedoms are being targeted so maliciously by those who oppose basic liberties.
 
We support the Obama Administration’s condemnation of the severe harassment of journalists. If Egypt is to become a true democratic society, then a vibrant press, uninhibited by persecution, will be essential to protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information. Otherwise, Egypt risks falling into further chaos.
 
Rosanna M. Fiske, APR
Chair and CEO
Public Relations Society of America

To convey and detail PRSA’s response and commentary, Fiske is available for live/taped/phone interviews.
To arrange interviews
, contact Keith Trivitt, (212) 460-1495, or keith.trivit@prsa.org, associate director, public relations, PRSA.
 
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 112 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.

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