PRESS STATEMENT: 2020 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION&ORIENTATION
HEADQUARTERS
CALABAR

2nd May,2020

PRESS STATEMENT

2020 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

On Sunday,3rd May,2020,Journalists,Media Workers and other Stakeholders in the Media Sector in Cross River State,will join their counterparts across the World to commemorate the 2020 World Press Day.

The World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993,following the recommendations of the United Nations Education,Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) General Conference in Windhoek.Since then May 3 has been celebrated annually as  anniversary of the Windhoek declaration.

This day is set aside by the United Nations annually to remind Governments at all levels across the World of the critical need to continually respect their commitments to Press Freedom.It is also meant as a day of reflection among Media Professionals about issues of Press Freedom and Professional ethics while also celebrating the fundamentals of Press Freedom.In the same vein,the day is usually used to assess the state of Press Freedom across the World;defend the Media from attacks on their independence;pay tributes to Journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty as well as those that suffer deprivations through arrest,detention,imprisonment and molestations.Most importantly,the World Press Freedom Day anniversary is an occasion to educate members of the public,especially Government Officials and Media Owners,on critical issues of concern to the Media Profession with a bid to mobilize the Political Will and resources to address these global challenges.

The theme for this year's World Press Freedom Day is "Journalism Without Fear or Favour".This is very apt as the World is emerging into a new decade that is already characterized by many challenges to Press Freedom and Journalists safety across the World.A situation that calls for concerted efforts by all Stakeholders to jointly work together to identify solutions.

This worrisome concern has been aggravated by the recent World ranking index released by the " Reporters Without Borders" which ranked Nigeria at No 115 out of over 200 Countries Worldwide which further indicates that the World is entering a decisive phase for the future of Journalism ;with the COVID 19 Pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threathens the rights to freely report independently;diverse and reliable information for the benefits of the citizenry.Expectedly,Journalists again have remained in the frontline churning out updated information on the rampaging Corona Virus Disease amid several challenges,including lack of insurance cover, support Personal Protection Equipment and Palliatives.

We roundly join our voices to condemn all forms of brutality,oppression against Journalists,with some resulting in molestation,arrest,detention, imprisonment and death for Journalists performing their legitimate duties while calling for restraints by all concerned with a view to respecting the UN charter on the  universal declaration of Human Rights and Press Freedom.

As a State that has remained most Media friendly,the Cross River State Government hereby congratulates all Journalists and Media Workers on this auspiciious day of World Press Freedom Day 2020 while also restating the commitment of the present administration under Governor Ben Ayade to continually provide a condusive work environment for all Journalists and Media Organizations in our dear State,to conduct their legitimate businesses of information gathering and dissemination without fear or favour.

Togethher,we can make Freedom of the Press the watchword for Journalism practice in our State vis a vis Nigeria as a whole for the betterment of the people and society in general.


           Signed
Comrade Asu Okang,fcai
Commissioner for Information&Orientation

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