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World Press/Media Freedom Day is observed annually on the 3rd of May. This year’s theme for the day will be, “SHAPING A FUTURE OF RIGHTS: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AS A DRIVER FOR ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS.”

According to the United Nations General Assembly, May 3rd acts as a reminder to all governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and this is also a day of reflection among media fraternities.

Globally, journalists still face the threat of losing their lives or jobs in their line of duty because of various challenges faced in their countries, this is no exception for Papua New Guinea.

Acknowledging World Press Freedom Day is particularly significant in 2023 because it is 30 years since the UN’s General Assembly proclaimed the public’s inalienable right to freedom of expression.

Here is what UN’s Resident Coordinator in Papua New Guinea, Richard Howard had to say about the Media Freedom Day, “a free media is one of the cornerstones of democracy.”

 “When transparency is nurtured, justice succeeds. Journalists have a responsibility to deliver the facts needed for the public to make informed decisions on the type of society they want for their country, Mr. Howard said.

Howard said a journalist’s focus is to publicize the truth by reporting without fear or favor in an open environment.

He said, journalists who embrace a Code of Ethics are more likely to discharge their obligations of serving the nation as honest brokers for the people.

“Media outlets are to be commended for the extraordinary volume of news they publish over the course of a year. It is even more important in the digital age because people must be able to trust the media to counter misinformation often dressed up as fact on social media platforms,” said Mr. Howard.

There is a need for journalists to receive standardized training and the ongoing challenge of low wages and poor working conditions has still not been addressed.

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