Every year, May 3rd is set aside as a day to call to mind the principles of journalism and the many challenges confronting the media in the discharge of their duties.
Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) empathizes with the struggles of African journalists who are constantly on the frontline, showing courage and resilience despite the many challenges.
The year 2021 World Press Freedom Day with theme “Information as a Public Good”, serves to reaffirm the need to acknowledge the significance of information for the development of any nation, as well as the importance of collaboration between stakeholders to ensure that the public has access to information for its general good.
The theme for this year is timely; we recall the many negative effects of misinformation that led to widespread myths in the wake of the pandemic, resulting in crisis and misunderstandings, leaving some African countries with the challenge of curtailing its threatening effect on the public.
For decades the story of press freedom in Africa has remained an issue of concern. Incidences of violations and attacks on the press by government authorities and sometimes aggrieved members of the public has continued unabated.
Today, we remember every African journalist in the frontline who has faced attacks, threats, imprisonment, incarceration, loss, blackmail, or has left home to seek refuge or in the search for safety and to further practice journalism without fear.
With regrets, we remember every journalist and media person who has died in the line of duty, or because of their journalistic practice. We pledge to continue to speak against impunity and injustice against journalists. We further reaffirm our resolve to continue in the fight against press freedom until our the press in Africa is free from attacks and violence.
We call on all government authorities to see the Media as partner in development, for only in this light can we truly achieve press freedom and public good.
Today, we call on journalists to synergize with all stakeholders for the peace and development of the African continent, we acknowledge the need for persistence in every venture, hence call for a relentless effort to ensure that press freedom is achieved.
We appreciate every individual and organization both local and international who have also continued to condemn attacks, and supported journalists in the time of need. We commit to collaborate with the media and government agencies to bridge the gap and strengthen build a system that will not only promote press freedom but also access to quality information.
It is our prayer that democracy will not lose its essence, but rather promote collaboration between stakeholders and further drive our continent to the heights of development.