According to Reporters Without Borders the freedom of the press hangs in the balance in many parts of the world, subjecting those who engage in oversight and photographing brutality to great peril. The organization reports that in 2011 there were 66 journalists killed, 1,044 journalists arrested, and 71 journalists kidnapped.
As far as new media goes -- arguably the most important outlet for heretofore voiceless people to speak, to break the code of silence that surrounds abusive power structures and for exposing police brutality -- 62 bloggers and netizens were physically attacked and 68 countries subject to Internet censorship.
The U.S. is not immune from criticism when it comes to incursions and potential incursions of our First Amendment rights to speech, to petition the government and to privacy.
But even as we continue our fight against those threats on a day like World Press Freedom Day we also need to also recognize and celebrate the gains we've made in creating and maintaining the critical civil liberties that keep us free.