Categorized | International, Local, News, Regional

It’s World Press Freedom Day

2013WPFD banner

All over the world today is being celebrated as World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) and the International Federation of Journalists is marking it by focusing on the issue of ‘Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned Around the World’.

The theme is: WPFD theme: “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.”

WPFD celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity 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;
  • pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Here in Montserrat while we enjoy a good measure of the freedom of expression, “Safe to Speak” is an issue making gathering of certain types of information exceedingly difficult.

Freedom of expression, we would say suffers from suppression. While government media is well supported, they claim a form of control that minimises its ability to be free. On the other side, independent media finds great difficulty to be efficient or even to function for lack of support from government either by way of business or direct support to the backbone of civil society and the other arm of democracy. The economic climate creates a worse environment and does not support either.

The result is little or no resource to allow independent media to function effectively, or even exist. The media is suppressed by starvation.  Sadly, that is where the safe to speak issue becomes very real.

In Jamaica, a group of persons in media was asked to say in 20 words what press free-dom means to them. They said:

1. The fact that someone who annoys the hell out of you can be on talk radio every day, the fact that government ministers call your boss to complain about what you said on radio instead of locking you up or getting you fired, are two examples of our gloriously free press that many of us take for granted. I don’t. – Dionne Jackson Miller – journalist

2. Press freedom must be guaranteed in all circumstances. This applies not only to the role of the State, but to that of corporate interests as well. – Earl Moxam – journalist

3. Media freedom is to the development of a free and democratic society what oxygen is to a human being. – Cliff Hughes – broadcast journalist/entrepreneur

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova declare today:  “A fundamental right on its own, freedom of expression also provides the conditions for protecting and promoting all other human rights. But its exercise does not happen automatically; it requires a safe environment for dialogue, where all can speak freely and openly, without fear of reprisal.”

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2013WPFD banner

All over the world today is being celebrated as World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) and the International Federation of Journalists is marking it by focusing on the issue of ‘Journalist Safety and Journalists Imprisoned Around the World’.

The theme is: WPFD theme: “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.”

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WPFD celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to:

Here in Montserrat while we enjoy a good measure of the freedom of expression, “Safe to Speak” is an issue making gathering of certain types of information exceedingly difficult.

Freedom of expression, we would say suffers from suppression. While government media is well supported, they claim a form of control that minimises its ability to be free. On the other side, independent media finds great difficulty to be efficient or even to function for lack of support from government either by way of business or direct support to the backbone of civil society and the other arm of democracy. The economic climate creates a worse environment and does not support either.

The result is little or no resource to allow independent media to function effectively, or even exist. The media is suppressed by starvation.  Sadly, that is where the safe to speak issue becomes very real.

In Jamaica, a group of persons in media was asked to say in 20 words what press free-dom means to them. They said:

1. The fact that someone who annoys the hell out of you can be on talk radio every day, the fact that government ministers call your boss to complain about what you said on radio instead of locking you up or getting you fired, are two examples of our gloriously free press that many of us take for granted. I don’t. – Dionne Jackson Miller – journalist

2. Press freedom must be guaranteed in all circumstances. This applies not only to the role of the State, but to that of corporate interests as well. – Earl Moxam – journalist

3. Media freedom is to the development of a free and democratic society what oxygen is to a human being. – Cliff Hughes – broadcast journalist/entrepreneur

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova declare today:  “A fundamental right on its own, freedom of expression also provides the conditions for protecting and promoting all other human rights. But its exercise does not happen automatically; it requires a safe environment for dialogue, where all can speak freely and openly, without fear of reprisal.”

Photo – banner