World Press Freedom Day

President Obama spoke out today about the jailing of Roxana Saberi in Iran and the detention of two journalists working for Current TV.

“We are also especially concerned about the citizens from our own country currently under detention abroad: individuals such as Roxana Saberi in Iran, and Euna Lee and Laura Ling in North Korea.”

It’s interesting to see what impact this will have on so-called “soft diplomacy,” of which the entertainment industry has been a part. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences sent a delegation to Iran earlier this year, and although it was not connected to any State Department initiative, there were hopes that Iranian filmmakers could visit the U.S. North Korea, meanwhile, has in recent years tried to promote its film industry to the rest of the world, and has invited delegations of filmmakers and even reporters (including ones from Variety) to cover an annual film festival in Pyongyang.

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