World Press Freedom Day celebrated next week

03 May 2017 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 03 MAY (NAMPA) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the Editor's Forum of Namibia (EFN) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) will jointly celebrate the 2017 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on 10 May.
The announcement of the day which is normally celebrated on 03 May was made by MICT Permanent Secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjaraka in a statement on Wednesday.
The day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies’ at the NamPower Convention Centre.
The celebration will also witness the launch of a revised EFN Code of Ethics by President Hage Geingob, who will be the keynote speaker at the event.
The ceremony is expected to bring together a collective body of representatives from relevant government offices, non-governmental organisations, Parliament, humanitarian organisations and media establishments.
“As we continue to highlight the importance of an independent press for the development and preservation of democracy and economic development in the country and the world at large, the media is also reminded to practice ethical journalism,” the statement says.
This year's WPFD celebrations will also observe the presentation of the Windhoek Declaration scroll, solidarity messages from different stakeholders and an interview with a veteran journalist from the kingdom of Swaziland.
Celebrated annually since 03 May 1993, WPFD was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, following a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of Unesco's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
The day also serves to inform citizens of violations of press freedom, a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists including broadcasters, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.
According to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, Namibia tops Africa in press freedom and is ranked 24th globally out of 180 countries.