Gambia: WPFD 2014 Focuses On Importance of ‘Independent Media’

gambiaGPUThe media in The Gambia, led by the Gambia Press Union in collaboration with UNESCO and TANGO, over the week-end held the annual symposium to mark World Press Freedom Day 2014.

As highlighted in our story on the event, Gambian media representatives were among the world’s journalists attending the forum in Windhoek, Namibia, which came up with the declaration that eventually spurred the UN General Assembly to designate May 3rd of each year as World Press Freedom Day, WPFD.

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We associated ourselves with the contents of the joint UN and UNESCO statement to mark World Press Freedom Day 2014.

Their statement said the event highlighted the importance of independent, free and pluralistic media to protecting and promoting rights.

Journalism, according to the statement, provided a platform for informed discussion across a wide range of development issues – from environmental challenges and scientific progress to gender equality, youth engagement and peace-building.

Only when journalists are at liberty to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance exist,” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, Irina Bokova, UNESCO director-general said in their joint declaration.The statement expressed concern that journalists and other media workers in many countries faced systematic obstacles to reporting the truth, ranging from censorship, arrest and imprisonment to intimidation, attacks and even assassination.

“These outrageous abuses show that press freedom and the human rights it underpins are extremely fragile and must be actively defended,” the statement added.

It said the UN General Assembly had unequivocally condemned all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers.

It therefore tasked governments and all those with influence to act by protecting journalists and other media workers.

“UN bodies are already working together and with other partners under the leadership of UNESCO to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers around the world.

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