World Press Freedom Day Celebrated

Namibians on Wednesday belatedly celebrated World Press Freedom Day under the theme, ‘Let Journalism Thrive! Towards better reporting, gender equality and media safety in the digital age’.

Guests were welcomed by the rector of Polytechnic of Namibia, Tjama Tjivikua who urged those in the media to not take issues out of context from the realm of reality as this could lead to a sensationalist reporting.

“If journalism is to thrive, the voices of males and females must be heard,” he said.

Eberhard Hofmann, chairperson of the Namibia Editors Forum mentioned Namibia’s ranking of 17th out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders, said because of such a positive ranking, the media should not slack and continue to uphold values of a healthy democratic society.

Hofmann said some ministries have a tendency to ignore written requests for information.

Tibinyane said journalism that informs and educates, empowers people. Such empowerment will encourage people to actively participate and make decisions in the country.

Information minister, Tjekero Tweya said the right to freedom of expression is not a favour but a constitutional right that should be exercised by Namibians.

Tweya also said the media should understand their role in nation building and provide educational material that could easily reach those who previously would not have access to such information, allowing them to express their views. They should promote local stories in the public interest and not “other people’s junk”.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 in response to African journalists who gathered to produce the Windhoek Declaration in Namibia in 1991.

The day is celebrated on 3 May every year.

Source : The Namibian