Namibia to celebrate Press freedom
World Press Freedom Day will be commemorated in Namibia and the rest of the world this coming Sunday 3rd May.
The official commemoration of the day will be marked through a panel discussion from 10h00 -11h00 on 3rd May 2020 at the COVID-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek. The discussion will feature veteran journalists and editors with participation from the floor by other journalists and broadcasters.
The celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Namibia is a collaboration between UNESCO Namibia Country Office, the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology (MICT), the Editors Forum of Namibia, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and the Namibia Media Trust.
The main theme of World Press Freedom Day is "Without Fear or Favour during COVID-19", with the sub-themes; mis and dis information during COVID-19 and media ethics during COVID-19. The discussion will will be modetarted by Mr. Bob Kandetu, the founding Executive Director of the then Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The panelists will consist of:
- Hon. Dr. Peya Mushelenga, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT),
- Ms. Gwen Lister, the Executive Chairperson of the Namibia Media Trust. Ms. Lister is a veteran journalist and co-chaired the 1991 Windhoek Declaration Conference.
- Mr. John Nakuta, the Media Ombudsman and head of the media self-regulatory mechanism. He also lectures Human Rights Law at the University of Namibia (UNAM).
- Mr. Frank Steffen, Chairperson of the Editors Forum of Namibia and the Editor of the Allgemeine Zeitung.
- Mr. Guy Berger, the Secretary of International Programmes for the Development of Communicaton and Director for Strategies and Policies in the field of Communication and Information at UNESCO, Berger will join the discussion via Skype.
The day is reminder to governments of the 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.
Furthermore, the day calls for the support of media which 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.
World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.
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.
Ahead of World Press Freedom Day, Mr. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, UNESCO Country Representative in Namibia extended a congratulatory tweet drawing attention to the news of Namibia's first position as Africa's best ranked country in the World Press Freedom Index. "Very good news as the country stands ready to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2021 and the 30th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration," he said.
UNESCO is calling on everyone to support free and independent journalism. Media workers should report without fear. We need them more than ever.