As we mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd. The theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights” underscores the critical role of the press in supporting and advancing human rights globally. Being an educationist, I firmly believe that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and must be protected at all costs.
The freedom of the press serves as a check on those in power, ensuring that those in authority are held accountable for their actions and decisions. The press has an important role to play in highlighting the ownership & involvement of a common man, reporting on government policies and actions, abuses of power, and promoting transparency and accountability in society. In short, the press is the watchdog of democracy, holding those in power to account and upholding the principles of justice and fairness.
Unfortunately, the press’s freedom is under threat in many countries worldwide, including Pakistan, where journalists continue to face harassment, intimidation, and violence at the hands of state and non-state actors. These challenges pose a significant threat to the principles of democracy and human rights in our country, with grave consequences for our society’s stability and progress.
The role of the press in shaping our collective future cannot be ignored. Freedom of the press is essential for keeping the democratic process alive. Being a member of the National Curriculum Council (NCC) Pakistan, I strongly recommend the study of all fundamental human rights in our National Curriculum at all levels.
On this World Press Freedom Day, let us all recommit to protecting and upholding the freedom of the press worldwide. We must demand that governments respect the fundamental human right to free expression and take action to support the press’s work. Only then can we build a future that is just, fair, and free.
The writer is an educationist.