The First Amendment, added to the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution in 1791, is one of the most precious legacies of the American democratic tradition of human rights. It says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The National Freedom of Speech Week has started at the ASU in the very First Amendment Forum with three of us Humphrey Fellows: Khanda from Mongolia, Affridi from Pakistan, and me Daria from Croatia.
The moderator Dr. Joseph Russomano had a noble idea to make us share our experiences on the subject, as journalists and citizens of our respective countries. I sincerely hope that we managed to justify the invitation to be a part of the Must-See-Monday not like an event that students just must attend, but the one they really don’t want to miss.
Everybody can find out from different media that it is not easy to be a journalist in Pakistan these days, that Mongolia is going through major changes from hard communism to democracy, that Croatian journalists have gone through “the last European war” and now face economic challenges. But it is always different to have a one-on-one conversation with people who are living it.
We navigated the rough sea of history, political changes and professional challenges the best we could. If you wish, you can see the result on ASU web pages.