YouTube Channel

Loading...
Sunday, May 2, 2010

postheadericon May 3, World Press Freedom Day

..... journalism and press freedom will always be under threat, not just from technology but from the mighty and the powerful


“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice” Article 19, Human Rights Charter



Back in 1948, soon after World War 2, most governments worldwide signed the United Nations Human Rights Charter and agreed to uphold its principles which guarantee freedom of the press as a basic human right, among other rights




Despite this commitment, many governments have failed to protect journalists and some have killed journalists with impunity, harassed them and tortured them and denied their citizens basic media freedoms. There are serial offenders in this regard, particularly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.



Concerned by the increasing threats against journalists and denial of freedom of the press, a UNESCO sponsored seminar on “Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press” meeting in Windhoek Namibia in 1991 called for the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press. The seminar “emphasized the importance of a free press to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development”



The seminar's Windhoek Declaration moved the United Nations so much so that in 1993 the General Assembly of the United Nations set aside May 3 as a day to be celebrated each year as World Press Freedom Day. May 3rd was the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.



Since then, May 3 has served as a chilling reminder to the public that many journalists brave death each time they go out on a news assignment or brave jail to bring people their daily news. The day also serves to highlight to the public the principles of press freedom, violations of the right to freedom of expression and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while on assignment or due to the nature of their job.



Since 1992, just a year before World Press Freedom Day was adopted, 808 journalists have been killed in line of duty. So far this year more than 10 journalists have died in line of duty, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists worldwide.



Many other global organisations like the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), the International Press Institute and Reporters Without Borders report similar chilling and graphic detail on violence against journalists.



According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which coordinates activities each year on May 3rd, World Press Freedom Day is:

• a day of action to encourage and develop initiatives in favor of the freedom of the press;


• a day to assess the state of press freedom worldwide;

• a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to press freedom;

• a day to alert the public and to increase awareness of the importance of freedom of the press;

• a day of reflection to encourage debate among media professionals on the issues of press freedom and professional ethics;

• a day of remembrance for journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession; and

• a day of support for media which fall victim to any measures which restrain, or seek to abolish, freedom of the press
Share/Bookmark

Subscribe to this blog

Follow by Email

About This Blog

theopennewsroom
this is Vincent Murwira's blog, part of his research site www.theopennewsroom.com Skype: theopennewsroom Twitter: @theopennewsroom Mail:theopennewsroom@gmail.com
View my complete profile
" In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the
right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that
it has." Mark Twain