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Windhoek Declaration 30th anniversary marks commitment to the future: Azoulay

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The 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration is not just a reminder of the past but a commitment to the future, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, has said.Azoulay said this o…

The 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration is not just a reminder of the past but a commitment to the future, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, has said.

Azoulay said this on Sunday during the official opening of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day and Windhoek Declaration’s 30th anniversary commemorative conference. She stated that themes such as media viability and educating audiences reflect issues affecting the production, dissemination and reception of information in the 21st century and should be commonly addressed to make information a true public good.

Azoulay further stated that the commemoration of the Windhoek Declaration anniversary means stepping up to ensure the safety of journalists, which is the first issue affecting press freedom. She, however, added that physical safety is not the sole concern given the growing issue of online harassment.

“Online harassment is a growing issue everywhere and women are the primary targets. The avalanche of abuse is not only damaging women journalists left alone to face these waves of hate, but also contributes to undermining public trust in journalism,” Azoulay stated.

On her part, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the advent of social media and other information technologies that characterise the internet age of instant dissemination of information requires media to be more circumspect by analysing and giving perspective to floating information to ensure that it is reliable and ready for public consumption.

“The government is thus encouraging the media to use its media freedom power responsibly and to support efforts government has put in place to improve the living standards of the people. We know that we attract what we celebrate the most,” she said.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also stated that the media exudes enormous power of serving as valuable platform for articulating affairs of the country to the people, thus journalists have to remain loyal to the public by prioritising public interest before their own personal beliefs and quest for profit-making.

“As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day today, let us think of how media professionals can help with nation building and contribute to economic growth and prosperity for all. As a government accountable to the people, we will ensure that the public has convenient access to public information they need to make informed decisions,” she said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency