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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Remarks at 2011 International Center for Journalists Awards Dinner

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 2, 2011


I am delighted to be able to send greetings and congratulate the awardees at tonight’s event. The International Center for Journalists plays a vital role in supporting the important work of journalists around the world. You remind us that access to information is the cornerstone of empowering people and communities across the globe, and that a free press is an essential element of successful democracies.

Thomas Jefferson famously said that if asked to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government," he would not hesitate to take the latter.

Now that was before cable news... but today the indispensable power of journalism to inform, provoke, and be a catalyst for positive change is as essential as ever.

These courageous reporters honored here tonight have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their profession; and through their work, have helped shed light on issues that were once hidden in the shadows.

To all of tonight’s honorees: I want to thank you for your work – whether exposing drug trafficking and corruption in Mexico, documenting the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or years of distinguished reporting from war zones to Washington – you are examples of true excellence in journalism. Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for your valuable contributions.

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