This year World Press Freedom Day having a theme of “Keeping Power in Check, Media, Justice and the Rule of Law” is being marked around the world.
In Nepal too, the day is observed by organizing morning rallies and talk programs. Freedom Forum representing International Press Institute (IPI) also participated in a rally along with other stakeholders in the morning to celebrate this day.
Similarly, Freedom Forum in collaboration with FNJ and UNESCO organized a discussion program where stakeholders from different sectors such as media experts, advocates and government dignitaries including Nepal Police officials were present.
The discussion program became a platform to present separate annual press freedom monitoring reports prepared by FNJ and FF and South Asia Press Freedom Report prepared by International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The chief guest of the program was Honorable Acting Chief Justice Dipak Raj Joshi.
FF report concluded that hostility continues to rife Nepali media and safety of the media needs to be prioritized. Similarly, IFJ report presented the overall press freedom situation in the South Asia and FNJ report showcased the overview of media situation in the country.
The program highlighted on the role of journalists and media in a democratic society while stressing on the need of enabling environment conducive for the media to perform its watchdog role in a professional and independent way.
Furthermore, Motherland Nepal, a foreign institution, also awarded female journalists’ group, who are climbing the Mount Everest, in the program. The FNJ President received the cash prize on behalf of mountaineering female journalists.
FF also screened a documentary on slain journalists amid the program and collected feedbacks from the participants on the product.
The program brought together more than 100 participants from diverse sectors.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.