WASHINGTON -- President Reagan Thursday saluted freedom of the press as 'a fundamental tenet of American life' and criticized a U.N. agency for policies he said were alien to free communication.
In a message observing National Newspaper Week, Oct. 9-15, Reagan said, 'Since the founding of this nation, freedom of the press has been a fundamental tenet of American life.
There is no more essential ingredient than a free, strong and independent press to our continued success in what the founding fathers called our 'noble experiment' in self-government.'
He said there is increasing hostility to open communication around the world.
'Both the governments of many nations and certain international organizations advocate or enforce policies alien to a free flow of ideas,' Reagan said. 'This promotion of censorship reflects a manifest fear of the truth and depreciation of the great importance of liberty to human advancement.'
Reagan :learly was referring to efforts to develop rules concerning some aspects of international journalism by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Critics say such regulation could hamper open reporting of events in developing countries.
'Of the forces shaping the destiny of our civilization, none is more crucial to our future than the responsible reporting and truthful analysis of the events of our era,' he said.
Reagan also issued a statement observing International Newspaper Carrier Day, Oct. 15.
'This occasion provides a welcome opportunity for me to express my high regard for your role in keeping Americans informed. Millions of our citizens depend on you to receive the essential and timely in-depth information that only newspapers bring to our daily lives,' he said.