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Every year World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3 to commemorate journalists and highlight the difficulties they face while discharging their constitutional duties fairly, objectively and truthfully without bias and prejudice.
And since reporting the truth is no easy task, journalists require a degree of freedom, which is usually guaranteed in the constitutions of various democratic nations and in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But who dedicated this day for journalists?
The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day in the year 1993. This declaration came after a recommendation made in 1991 at the twenty-sixth General Conference session of United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNISCO. The declaration also came as a result of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration; a statement produced by African journalists about press freedom, presented at a seminar held by UNESCO, which concluded on May 3.
The day is celebrated to ensure the protection and safety of the press in the face of attacks against its independence, to discuss journalistic ethics and to celebrate journalists who gave their lives in the pursuit of truth.
The theme for World Press Day 2021 is “Information as a Public Good”.
I dedicate this day, #WorldPressFreedomDay to every journalist, who has been brutally rough-handled and especially those who paid the supreme prize in the discharge of their duties.
On #WorldPressFreedomDay, I urge all governments to do everything in their power to support a free, independent and diverse media.
I also encourage the media in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, to continue to uphold the tenets of the profession and desist from anything that would drag the reputation of the profession in the mud.