World Press Freedom Day
World Press Freedom Day is a celebration of the free press and its impacts on society. The media often faces attacks to their independence and access to free press is sometimes limited. This day, celebrated annually on 3rd May, highlights the need to push for societies with a more open and unbiased press so that there would be honest reporting on events which impact the societies.
The 2018 theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law”
The theme for the 2018 observance of World Press Freedom Day places emphasis on the relationships between the media, political transparency, and the judicial system. Very often, persons in high positions of authority or institutions of the state, tend to neglect their duty to be accountable. The media is one of the tools used to keep those in power in check, however, this depends on the full independence of the media. The judicial system should create avenues to alleviate the issues which lead to suppression of the media, but the relationship between the politicians and the judiciary sometimes exacerbates those issues and stifles the freedom of the press further. Despite this, throughout history many brave journalists, publishers and reporters have taken on great personal risk to speak out and stir the public to call for greater accountability and transparency from those in power. World Press Freedom Day celebrates the achievements of these persons and calls for greater action to be taken in areas where freedom of the press is being stifled.
What Can You Do?
As members of the public we should support the journalists and reporters in our country so that they can freely provide us with factual and unbiased information. This includes holding politicians accountable when they publicly attempt to bully members of the press for publishing or reporting on political inconsistencies in an unbiased manner. Likewise, we must hold media personnel accountable when their information is clearly biased and incomplete. The public has a big part to play in ensuring the integrity of the free press is upheld. One way of supporting press freedom is by supporting the Media Association of Saint Lucia, which represents the interests of media personnel. To learn more about their valuable work, visit the Media Association of Saint Lucia Website. Let us all play our part in safeguarding the freedom of the press in Saint Lucia!