Rice says free press must be encouraged

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that free nations must try to influence governments who restrict press freedom and named five countries that she said do that, including Russia and China. In a statement marking World Press Freedom Day, Rice said actions against the journalists include physical mistreatment as well as reinforced libel laws, media ownership in the hands of too few people, Internet restrictions and dwindling press outlets. "We hail the courageous sacrifices made by journalists around the world to report the facts, even at the cost of their lives and their freedom," Rice said in a statement read by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.