World Press Freedom Day 2020: A Call To Protect Journalists On The Frontline

Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) rejoices with Journalists in Africa on the occasion of the 2020 World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

All over the world, May 3rd is set aside to highlight the fundamentals of press freedom, and to commemorate journalists who have lost their lives as champions in the line of duty.

It is also a day to reflect on the ethics of journalism and what it stands for in order to make amends where necessary.

An analysis of journalism in Africa in the last 10years reveals a trend in press freedom violation ranging from censorship, harassment of journalists on duty, unlawful arrests and detentions, abduction and in severe case, murder.

Last year, a significant number of cases reported were linked to the general elections held in some countries like Benin Republic, Algeria, Cameroon, South Africa and Nigeria among others. Nonetheless, in South Sudan for example, these violations were carried out in order to obstruct the media’s reportage of activities of authoritarian government.

This year, with the challenge of Lockdown order on major cities due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is expected that the media will receive strong backing from government authorities so that the public is kept abreast on emerging issues and developments.

Nevertheless, the story has remained the same, as more and more journalists have been harassed, detained, and imprisoned while trying to discharge their duties.

We will however not relent or be deterred by circumstances or conditions; we keep pressing for better media performance, which can only be achieved when the fourth estate of the realm is treated as strong significant part of democracy.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom day 2020, with the theme Journalism Without Fear or Favour, we honour the many brave journalists who are passionately at the frontline, and continue reporting despite the threats of the COVID-19, they strive to ensure that we all have access to accurate and up to date information on the present global health challenge.

Africa Media Development Foundation and what it stands for, strongly speaks against any form of online and physical harassment of African journalists.

We call on all government authorities to see the media as an integral part of any nation’s polity without which no society can truly be developed.

Today we raise our voices and say no to unlawful arrests of journalists, no to intimidation, no to detention, no to killing of brave journalists in the line of duty, and we say YES to quality information, YES to freedom of the Press, and YES to “Journalism Without Fear or Favour”

END.

 

Signed

Joy Gadani
Programme officer (Press Freedom)
Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF)
Kaduna – Nigeria.

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