The media plays an integral role not only in keeping a population informed, but also in ensuring that the rights of a nation’s people are well respected. As such, all media must be allowed to operate freely and fairly as they strive towards making information more accessible.
· In 1993, The Windhoek Declaration was proclaimed; it was a call to arms to protect the fundamental principles of the freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
· World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to:
– celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
– assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
– defend the media from attacks on their independence;
– pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
· The theme this year theme is “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda”. Several conferences worldwide will discuss, as key item on the agenda, the media’s importance in development, the safety of journalists and the rule of law as well as the sustainability and integrity of journalism.
· According to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked 43rd out of 180 countries. This marks a positive increase of one position since last year.
· The government is committed to ensuring that the conditions in which our local media operate continue to improve.
NB – Quote: “There is a great responsibility to rise above partisan interests. There is also a great responsibility to keep a clear line separating ‘telling the story’ and ‘capitalizing on misfortune’ or reporting the news as opposed to sensationally making the news.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated to fulfill the ambition, vendetta or conspiracy of anyone or any organization. The power of a free press must be held in trust of the people and should always be exercised in the public interest and serve the overriding objective of the fairness, justice and truth.” Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Closing Ceremony Of The International Press Institute World Congress 2012, Tuesday 26th June, Diplomatic Centre, Port Of Spain
Activities: The annual UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize ceremony will take place on 2 May 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters.
An international conference will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 5-6 May.