Category Archives: writing

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day May 3 logo May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day; a day designated by the United Nations to recognize and celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom. This year’s conference originally scheduled the last weekend in April at the World Forum in The Hague has been postponed until October, in the same location.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), headquartered in Paris, is launching the 2020 global campaign on media and social media channels focusing on Journalism without Fear or Favour with special emphasis on:

  • Safety of Woman and Men Journalists and Media Workers
  • Independent and Professional Journalism free from Political and Commercial Influence
  • Gender Equality in All Aspects of the Media


Proclaimed in December 1993 by the UN General Assembly, World Press Freedom Day acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to freedom of the press. It is also a day for media professionals to reflect about current issues surrounding press freedom and professional ethics.

The stated purpose of the World Press Freedom Day is to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom throughout the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

World Press Freedom Day was chosen to highlight freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. As agreed by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Article 19 says “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Access to information and media freedom contribute to human empowerment, which in turn helps people gain control over their lives and their communities. These are achieved through access to fair, accurate, and unbiased information, representing many opinions. The ability to have unfettered access to information and to relay it throughout their community allows active collective participation. These freedoms must be protected by rule of law and the populace must be educated in the information literacy that supports civic engagement by the citizens of all countries allowed into the United Nations.

Book available at WCPL:

War on words: who should protect journalists? by Joanne M. Lisosky and Jennifer R. Henrichsen (323.445 LIS)


How and Why to Write Poetry

One hundred best poems for boys and girls complied by Majorie Barrows, old, weathered book

I hope you all are staying safe during these difficult times.  I have written this poetry blog and hope it inspires you to be creative and have fun using language to express yourself and to understand the expressions of others.  Poetry is something anyone can write.  Whether you did well in English classes or not does not matter.

There are many ways to enjoy poetry.  One can enjoy it by writing it, reading it, or sharing it with others.  One can also allow it to stimulate the intellect and ponder on its meanings. Poetry can also help to manage your emotions throughout your life.  It can help through times as diverse as dealing with something exciting to coping through times of grief.

Poetry can also help build your imagination.  You can be forced to think about objects, feelings, and experiences in ways that you have never thought about them before.  It can also help build your vocabulary and increase your critical thinking skills.

Poetry is something that can evoke many emotions for both a writer and a reader.  These emotions include happiness, sadness, grief, accomplishment, inspiration, anger, embarrassment, frustration, humor, and a plethora of other feelings Poetry can also take you places It can take you back in time and stimulate you to think about the past, present, and future. It take you to other planets and galaxies.  It can take you to the sky, to the bottom of the ocean, deep underground, to jungles, forests, deserts, and even fictional places from an imagination.

Writing poetry can also provide a framework for your life.  A decade from now, you can look back at the poetry you write today and look at it within the context of how things have changed Just like keeping a diary, you can monitor how your feelings change regarding relationships, goals, and experiences.  When you write a poem, you have the option of keeping it completely private or sharing it with others.

I have put together some tips for writing poetry:

When writing poetry, do not worry about whether it is “good” or “bad.”  Write from your heart.  Write with feeling.  Write about things which are meaningful to you.  If you do this, your poetry will serve a special purpose in your life.

If you are having trouble thinking of words to use, browse through a dictionary or thesaurus.  If you are writing about a specific subject, increase your vocabulary and knowledge about that subject.  For example, if you want to write a poem about lions, read about lions.  Read about their habitats, communication, how they hunt, and how they live in prides. This will provide ideas for both words to use and themes to write about.

Remember that you do not have to write the verses of your poems in the final order.  You can write verses as they come to you and later rearrange them in the order that you think flows best.

Although not necessary, I like to try and make a powerful last verse to the poems I write. I like my last verse to be an intense verse that ends the poem with a solid conclusion that ties the poem up and provides a sense of finality.

Explore different forms of poetry. Poetry is a very vast field. There are many rhyming variations you can experiment with. We have many resources about poetry at the library.  These resources include materials on how to write poetry and materials that will allow you to read poetry.  I encourage you to explore these resources.  Library staff will be happy to assist you.

~Alan Houke

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