Freedom of the Press: Fourth Pillar of Democracy – Closing of Semanario Clave and Clave Digital

Santo Domingo – The Embassy of the United States of America regrets the August 5 simultaneous closure of Semanario Clave and Clave Digital. The U.S. Government has a sustained history of supporting the media throughout the world by way of direct and indirect assistance. Support for the media takes on the form of a wide spectrum of programming and outreach, including professional development training, journalist exchanges, book donations, visiting speakers, media law reform, advocacy for access to information and monitoring of press freedoms in the annual congressionally mandated Human Rights Report. Support for the media is an important feature of U.S. democracy and governance assistance. It is based on the belief that a democracy can be judged by the strength of its media.

The beginnings of Clave Digital are an example of direct U.S. Government support, as the online news source received start-up assistance, in 2004, from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). From the time of its creation up until its final editions of August 5, the twin publications have made an important contribution to the multiplicity of media outlets operating in the Dominican Republic. The U.S. Government stands firmly behind its commitment to a free press, the fourth pillar of democracy, and to the full range of perspectives appropriate in a thriving news media environment.