Today, at Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), we salute journalists in Africa, and others around the world, who remain in the frontline to practice journalism, despite the attacks, threats, imprisonment, loss and blackmail.
As we mark the 2022 World Press Freedom Day, we remember each of the 55 journalists killed worldwide in the last one year (UNESCO figures), who died in line of duty, or because of their journalistic practice.
Overtime, Press Freedom in Africa has remained an issue of concern, with high incidences of violations and attacks on the Press by security agents, on the orders of people in authority, and sometimes by aggrieved members of the public, who take the law into their hands.
The World Press Freedom Day, observed every 3rd May, is set aside by the United Nations to serve as a reminder “to governments of the need to respect their commitment to Press Freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.”
Like every Press Freedom stakeholder, AMDF is concerned with increasing cases of harassment, arrests, imprisonment, torture and digital attacks on journalists for no other reason, other than doing their work.
We therefore call on governments and security agencies in Africa to respect the freedom of the press at all times.
We also call on journalists to adhere strictly to the code of journalism ethics each time they write their stories.
AMDF aligns with the 2022 theme, “Journalism Under Digital Siege”, which is a reflection of the many challenges confronting journalists in the discharge of their duties.
This is particularly important because the trend of online attacks on media is significantly increasing, with women journalists worst hit. A recent statistic by UNESCO shows “a shocking prevalence of harassment online”, where nearly three-quarters of female media professionals had experienced online violence linked to their work.
In respect to this, AMDF will on Thursday 12th May hold a virtual panel discussion via zoom, drawing journalists from different countries of Africa to discuss.
While AMDF continue to speak against impunity and injustice against journalists, we call on all stakeholders to join us in our resolve to continue in the fight against Press Freedom until the press in Africa is free from attacks and violence.
Executive Director, AMDF
3rd May, 2022