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ED: Freedom of the press is freedom of the people

  • Published at 07:47 am May 3rd, 2021
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Since March last year, more than 1,200 journalists have succumbed to the coronavirus

Today is World Press Freedom Day, a day that “acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom” while also serving as an opportunity for journalists and media professionals to further reflect on “issues of press freedom and professional ethics.”

Unfortunately, it also serves as a day of remembrance for the journalists who lost their lives in the “pursuit of a story,” in the pursuit of the loftiest of ideals, that of the truth, which holds the most powerful amongst us accountable and sets the most vulnerable amongst us free. 

This year, the pursuit of truth has been especially important, as wave after wave of misinformation regarding Covid-19 hit public discourse, confusing an already confused world population further and subsequently worsening a situation that is currently by some estimates and in some nations at its peak. 

Since March last year, more than 1,200 journalists have succumbed to the coronavirus, and we take this opportunity to remember them, and to further strengthen our commitment to the pursuit of truth. 

It also reminds us of the global imbalance we are currently witnessing with regards to the lack of vaccine availability for poorer nations, with India seeing an alarming death rate within the profession in the last month, with three to five deaths on average per day for journalists. 

Every single day, our fellow journalists put themselves in close proximity to the coronavirus, oftentimes without vaccination, so that their fellow citizens are exposed to the situation on the ground in their nation and abroad. 

Let us honour them and, perhaps even more importantly, renew our commitment to their cause with the understanding that no successful democracy may exist without a press that is both strong and free.