Press Freedom Day: What Essence With Reality


This year’s Press Freedom Day has come and gone but its content continues to reverberate across the globe. It was hosted by Chile, the South American nation as participants converged from various parts of the World.

The theme was apt as it dwelt on the worsening state of our global environment distorted by all forms of human and natural causes. With the main event which was held May 3, there were side events between May 2-4, giving a robust tone to the theme.

Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations underscored the spirit of the august event in his elucidation which spelt out the plight of the press from a global perspective.   

 He commended the Government of the Republic of Chile for organizing this significant event – a testament of its unwavering commitment to that timeless democratic principle of freedom of expression.

Further, he noted that freedom of expression is also a fundamental human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the 75th anniversary of which was commemorated last December at the United Nations.

We align with his thought that Press Freedom is  a core component of the right to freedom of expression which recognizes the right of journalists and media organizations to operate independently and to report the news impartially without censorship or intimidation These rights and freedoms are crucial in instilling public confidence in unfettered truthful reporting, which allows people to make well-informed decisions.

This year’s theme:  A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis  is especially timely, given the imperative of accelerating action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals over the next 6 years.

It underscores the critical role of journalists and media workers in shedding light on the causes and consequences of current environmental crises, including an objective assessment of corporate and state response, as the case might be , in an atmosphere that guarantees absolute journalistic freedom.

AljazirahNigeria is concerned that journalists and media workers across the globe are increasingly under threat from kidnapping and torture to arbitrary detention, and losing their lives at alarming rates, whether as causalities of war or as deliberate targets of state authority.

We particularly honour our fallen heroes in the profession, and urge all to endear ourselves to protecting journalists and media workers  as a paramount obligation for promoting inclusive media coverage, to inform and educate society including on current environmental issues.

We urge that nations defend freedom of expression, protect journalists as well as media workers and ending impunity in all forms.

Ensuring accountability for attacks against and harassment of journalists and media workers is crucial to upholding democratic values, globally.

In this era characterized by the pervasive trend of misinformation and disinformation, society needs the independence, expertise and integrity of a free media, more than ever.

We are worried by the abysmal picture painted by the renowned global non-governmental organization, Reporters without Borders which hammered that media freedom is a fundamental right, but nearly half of the world’s population has no access to freely reported news and information.

Amid all these are the unprecedented killings of journalists across various frontiers of wars. It is worrisome that over 100 journalists were reportedly killed in the trouble spot of Gaza in the Middle East within a few months. More so, journalists are reportedly killed in various theatres of war in the course of executing their functions.

Our consciousness across the world must refrain from the deliberate acts aimed at cowing and intimidating the journalist whose line of duty is supposedly sacred.

Back home, we have pockets of harassment of journalists in the line of their duty and these do not mean well for our democracy which is still wallowing in fits and epilepsy.

We urge our governments at all levels to embrace the virtues of accommodating positions that do not align with their personal or self interests notwithstanding how painful they might be.


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