Let me just say how pleased I am to be here to see the work you are doing, which, from my perspective, is among the most important things that happen in a democratic society. The profession you are part of is incredibly important to the vibrancy and quality of democratic societies. You are providing your fellow citizens with a range of information and opinions about what is happening in this society, and the policy choices and the challenges that are faced in society. From our perspective, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are universal rights and essential components of healthy, vibrant, democratic societies.
I am here today in part to make sure that all of you know how important those rights are and how strongly we believe that they should be freely exercised in democratic societies. Personally, I really appreciate the work you do in helping me to understand what is happening in this society at a critical point in its history. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here with professional journalists.