World Press Freedom Day

Naima Sadaqat

Along with the rest of the world, Pakistan is also celebrating World Press Freedom Day in a bid to stand up for freedom of the press and journalists around the world. The theme of the day is “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This is Your Right.”
Pakistan has a vibrant electronic and print media as well as journalists who have contributed a lot to highlight important issues. Every year on May 3, World Press Freedom is celebrated across the world and in Pakistan too, rallies and seminars are conducted to highlight the importance of freedom of press. Journalists who lay down their lives in the course of their duty are also paid tribute on this day. Over 100 national celebrations take place each year to commemorate this day
In Pakistan, the situation of press freedom is quite grim since journalists operate under threat and often get killed while doing their duty. UNESCO leads the worldwide celebration by identifying the global thematics and organizing main event in different parts of world every year. The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s general conference in 1991.
In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones – the 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland; the year 2016 is also the first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s WPFD focuses on three different aspects of press freedom, freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right, protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance over reach, ensuring safety for journalism online and offline.
So as a journalist we need to fulfil our duty honestly, raise the voice of common people, fight for rights but do not misuse this freedom.
—Rawalpindi

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