A call for journalism without fear or favour – World Press Freedom Day 2020

World Press Freedom day (3 May) is a date which celebrates the principles of press freedom, to evaluate and defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

· Support independent journalism so that media workers can report without fear or favour. Newsrooms should be free to make independent editorial decisions that favour public interest and preserve accountability.

· A free and independent press is essential at all times, but is particularly important during a health crisis such as the one we are currently experiencing. At a time when many seek information primarily online, the role of professional journalists, whom are trained to help sort through the flow and provide necessary guidance, is vital.

· No crisis can be resolved without accurate and reliable information. At all levels, from governments to individuals, the decisions we make can be a matter of life and death and must be based on facts and science.

· It is only through joint multilateral coordination that these crucial issues can successfully be addressed, and we are deeply committed to this global effort.

· It is also important to help the media and journalists report on the crisis effectively and safely, and to promote critical thinking to limit the spread of rumors and misinformation.

· On World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May, UNESCO calls on governments, media and civil society to join us in a global online movement to draw the world’s attention to these issues which are essential to the survival of our democracies. Together, we will ensure that our response to the crisis is effective. This unprecedented health crisis has the potential to rebuild citizens’ trust in the media.

Text: UNESCO

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Related:

Basic protective measures against the Novel #Coronavirus – click here

Official websites for accurate information regarding COVID19:

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

Regulations and Guidelines – Coronavirus Covid-19

World Health Organisation

Western Cape Government Health Department

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