World Press Freedom
UNESCO celebrated “World Press Freedom Day” on May 3rd, with the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights.” This year marks the 30th year of the International UN Day celebration.
Freedom of the press is not only the cornerstone of democracy but also a basic tenet of a just and humane society. It links the government with its citizens, informs them of public affairs and issues affecting their lives, and allows them to monitor governance at all levels. Where there is press freedom, the people of a nation can hold their leaders and institutions accountable. This is why it is a threat to corrupt, unscrupulous, unethical, and abusive public officials.
It is saddening that our journalists who uphold this fundamental human right do their sacred duty in a hostile climate. This is true not only in our country but in many other countries. The UNESCO World Trends in Freedom of Expression Report of 2021-2022 indicates a 50% increase in journalist killings, with eighty-six (86) journalists killed worldwide. The report also states that the Philippines “has taken positive steps” to protect our journalists. I hope that civil society organizations that are guardians of our democracy, and associations of journalists can participate as partner organizations in such initiatives and be provided with platforms to remind the government to pursue this commitment.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”