Journalists around the globe are once again celebrating World Press Freedom Day today the 3rd of May 2017. This celebration has been going on for years, but the question is; is there any freedom in the press?
Freedom of expression is a universal human right and it is not the prerogative of the politician, nor is it the privilege of the journalist. In their daily endevours, journalists are simply exercising every citizen’s right to free speech. They are the best tool to use in conveying a message to the public.
Freedom of the press is the freedom of communication and expression through various mediums, such as electronic media and published materials. Wherever such freedom exists mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching government or politicians.
With respect to governmental information, any government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public. Goverment materials are protected due to either the information is classified as sensitive, secret or the relevance of the information to protecting the national interest.
Rather than having the government establish and dictate the truth exposed by the press, freedom of speech enables the truth to emerge from diverse opinions. Freedom of press is the liberty to speak or write openly without fear of government restraint.
A free press is fundamental to a democratic society. It seeks out and circulates news, information, ideas, comment and opinion and holds those in authority to account. The press provides the platform for a multiplicity of voices to be heard. At national, regional and local level, it is the public’s watchdog, activist and guardian as well as educator and an entertainer.
We are living in a world where the top gurus and some governments interfere with the journalists in some issues which they think will damage their reputation. Democracy which has been brought by some to the world has complicated alot things hence making it tough for journalists to reveal the underground secrets of the government or the top dogs.
We have had instances where journalists are arrested or killed because of their thorough investigations on matters which affects some countries economically, eg corruption. Some governments are scared to be exposed, hence making threats to some journalists who follows their stories on a daily basis.
The idea of perfect equality in communism argues for a right of expression and press. Since each individual is equally important, each should have an equally valid point of view. All governments should work hand in hand with the press so that the right message should be delivered to the people.
Let journalists have their freedom in exposing the dirt which is swept under the carpets for a better country. Stop threats and build a better relationship with the press.