Government joins the rest of the world in commemorating the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2023. This day is set aside across the globe to realise and raise the importance of press freedom. This year’s commemoration takes place under the theme, Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights, which signifies the enabling element of freedom of expression to enjoy and protect all other human rights.
This year’s theme provides an opportunity to discuss and debate the development and protection of human rights with a focus on the link to freedom of expression within the overall human rights agenda. For South Africa, this day follows on the heels of Freedom Day, in which the country celebrated freedoms gained since the advent of democracy. It is acknowledged that freedom of expression by the press functions as an enabler for other human rights.
Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, said: “In South Africa we have an independent, vibrant and free press, who help to verify and disseminate facts, create opportunities for ideas to be debated and for the voiceless to be heard. The media’s expression contributed to the many human rights that are realised in our country and it continues to raise challenges we face. Therefore, it is imperative that our press continues to embrace the principles of fair and objective journalism.”
In the era of mis-and-dis-information, we all have a responsibility to protect credible and bona fide news. The need for trustworthy and fact checked news for public good is crucial and growing everyday. Thus, freedom of expression, today, still requires steadfast and determined role players, to confront the real story verses fake news.
Government reaffirms its commitment to uphold the right to freedom of expression and the independence of our media as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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