Internal Affairs

Press freedom a human right: Ua-Ndjarakana

Summary

World Press Freedom Day should be celebrated by everyone and not just by media personnel as the right to information is a basic human right, Executive Director in the Ministry of Information Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana has said.Ua-Ndjarakana made these remark…

World Press Freedom Day should be celebrated by everyone and not just by media personnel as the right to information is a basic human right, Executive Director in the Ministry of Information Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana has said.

Ua-Ndjarakana made these remarks in an interview with Nampa on Monday, the final day of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations that started in Windhoek last week.

He said the day should be observed by all as it focuses on the equipping of people across the world with timely, useful information.

Ua-Ndjarakana also noted that journalists’ working environment should be protected as the information they communicate is of vital importance to all people, adding that people should value such information and not distort it.

“Citizens need to value information, use it for their benefit and differentiate fake from real news, and should also be literate on what is useful information as opposed to fake and distorted news,” he added.

He further hailed Namibia for its support and protection of journalists, stating that the country has so far done well in terms of press freedom.

Namibia retained its number one spot in Africa on media freedom as announced by Reporters Without Borders in its 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

Namibia has been holding the number one position in Africa since 2013, except in 2018 when the position was taken by Ghana and Namibia was second, but Namibia regained the spot in 2019 to date.

Ua-Ndjarakana further explained that Namibia is not just hosting the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, but also taking the opportunity to “check on the growth of its child”, the Windhoek Declaration - a statement of press freedom principles produced by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

The date of the declaration’s adoption, 03 May, was subsequently declared World Press Freedom Day.

The ED further said the Access to Information Bill is still being propagated and once finalised, all citizens will have an opportunity to access all vital information.

Source: Namibia Press Agency