Thursday, May 01, 2008

Journalists to discuss Press Freedom

By Justin Faafia (Samoalivenews)

Journalists from all over Samoa will today gather at the Aggie Greys Conference Room to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
The Journalists Association of [Western] Samoa will today host an Editors and Senior Journalists Forum with support by UNESCO.
All media in Samoa will be represented in the forum which will see a discussion of the theme for this year: “Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People.”
According to JAWS the theme is especially relevant to the events in the past months in Samoa.
“Due to threats on Journalists and media workers, the WPFD theme this year is a chance for our media workers to discuss the challenges in our work,” JAWS stated.
The local organization is commemorating on the 2nd of May with the Forum and on the 3rd with a Fun Walk for the media.
Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991
It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.
It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.
It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

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