WORLD Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3 every year, was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993 after recommendation of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Its main objective is to celebrate principles of press freedom.
The theme for this yearâ€™s celebration is â€˜Access to Information and Fundamental Freedom – This is Your Right.â€™
All citizens of the world have the fundamental freedom of access to information.
This is why the media plays a very important role of informing, educating, acting as a watchdog to vices in society and setting the agenda.
Most citizens access information from the print and electronic media globally.
Electronic devices such as smartphones have become more popular as more and more people now receive news online using gadgets connected to the internet.
Access to information has now become easier due to advancement in technology.
However, access to correct and accurate information has now become a huge global challenge.
Political influence has continued to control most media institutions in the world. Power and money now determine what must be covered by the media.
A few years ago, News Corp, one of the biggest media empires under Rupert Murdoch, was exposed on how it influenced the political scene in Britain. Back home, media bias and sensationalism characterise both private and public media, especially as we draw closer to the polling day for this yearâ€™s general elections to be held on August 11.
Moreover, misinforming citizens is dangerous as they end up making ill-informed decisions.
The media has the moral obligation to ensure that we all have access to accurate information and fundamentals of freedom for this is our right.
Happy Press Freedom Day.