On World Press Freedom Day, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says press freedom "does not happen automatically," but requires the creation of a safe environment for dialogue, where journalists can do their jobs without fear of reprisal.
"Every day, freedom of expression faces new threats. Because they help ensure transparency and accountability in public affairs, journalists are frequent targets of violence," Mr Ban said in a joint statementwith Irina Bokova, director-general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
They say action must encompass both traditional media as well as digital mediums.
"Bloggers, citizen reporters and social media producers, as well as their sources, face increasing threats to their safety," they said.