Governance

Namibia’s press freedom ranking laudable: Long

Summary

Namibia ranked 24th out of 180 countries globally in 2021 according to the World Press Freedom Index. Charge d’ Affairs in the United States of America (US) Embassy in Namibia, Jessica Long, said the above ranking is an achievement worth […]

Namibia ranked 24th out of 180 countries globally in 2021 according to the World Press Freedom Index.

Charge d’ Affairs in the United States of America (US) Embassy in Namibia, Jessica Long, said the above ranking is an achievement worth celebrating in a statement issued here on Monday.

World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on 03 May.

“On World Press Freedom Day, we celebrate the determination of Namibian journalists and media professionals who continue to be the beacons of press freedom on the African continent,” she said.

Long said this year’s theme ‘Journalism Under Digital Siege’ shines a needed light on how surveillance impacts journalism, freedom of expression and privacy.

“Malware and spyware are increasingly being used against journalists and human rights defenders and that growing sophistication and undetectability of malware and spyware endanger free and independent journalism,” she said.

“The day also serves as a reminder to government of their need to defend press freedom and protect journalists. Responsible journalism, which is arguably the best vaccine against the virus of disinformation, plays an essential role in keeping a democracy alive,” she added, referencing that it has been a cornerstone in the US’ democracy.

Long said similarly in Namibia, the 1991 Windhoek Declaration was adopted as an affirmation of press freedom.

“It was a bold and forward-looking statement that has helped to change the world for the better over the last 31 years, and it is the responsibility of today’s journalists to continue carrying this beacon,” she stressed.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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