Today marks the World Press Freedom Day. This day is being celebrated worldwide by keeping the theme ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’. This year the main event of the day is celebrated by the United Nations in Ghana. Through this, the country`s democracy and politics will be transparent, said the country`s information minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid. The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also said in the video message that the freedom of media is mandatory to establish world peace and justice.
Like other countries of the world, journalists of Bangladesh have taken various programs to observe the day to establish their professional rights and dignity. Many media organizations will also observe the day through various programs. The National Press Club organized a discussion meeting on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu will be present as the chief guest and the Joint Editor of Daily Prothom Alo, Sohrab Hossain will present the keynote paper at the meeting.
To find the history of the day, it can be seen that, in 1991, the journalists from African continent have unanimously announced the free media policy of journalists at the UNESCO`s seminar in the Namibian capital Windhoek. In 1993, the day begins to be celebrated with the formation of the United Nations Windhoek Declaration.
Global media personalities have prioritized the freedom of journalism to promote democracy. But the freedom of the press has fallen worldwide due to various threats. Journalists often have to face the violence, oppression and repression. A report released by the World Press Institute (API) in the eve of the World Press Freedom Day on Thursday said that 120 journalists were killed while performing duties in different parts of the world from May 2017 to April this year. Of them, 88 were killed in the year 2017. Among them, 46 were involved in corruption-related news. And in the first four months of 2018, 32 journalists, including a woman, were killed. On average, eight journalists are killed around the world every month. The latest addition was the Kabul attack on 30 April. In that attack, nine journalists and photojournalists were killed.
According to the Reporters Without Border, freedom of the press has been threatened worldwide due to various reasons. Nevertheless, the weakness of society and democracy is expressed when the media becomes weak.