World press freedom day.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Journalists cover a Police Reforms Working Group press conference in Nairobi on May 2, 2021.   Photo credit | Nation Media Group

World press day held every 3rd of May acts as a reminder that governments need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is important because, World Press Freedom Day, is a day of supporting the media that are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It began on 29 April and ends today 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s World Press Freedom Day, whose theme is” Information as a Public Good” will be marked differently. The East Africa Editors Society will lead journalists from the region in marking the day.The United Kingdom Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, will be the keynote speaker in the event that will be held virtually.

Issues including the influence of the pandemic on the practice of journalism in East Africa and strides made in press freedom in the past year are set to dominate the conversations in the commemoration.

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