The celebration of the 30th World Press Freedom Day with the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights” comes at no better time for us as our media fraternity has finally felt a breath of fresh air, grown in confidence and is given the freedom and power to conduct its work freely and with no draconian laws hanging over our heads.
That’s is the message from the Fijian Media Association on Media Freedom Day as it states that the media as the fourth estate and agents of change have the power and trust of our people to be their voice.
It says freedom of expression is a key human right and this is also enshrined in the Fijian Constitution.
The Association says when media remain silent, it is like societies themselves are muzzled and unable to hold the political and economic leadership to account or to grant people the right to make fact-based choices in life.
The FMA says without journalists who work 24/7, 365 days, the world would be absolutely blinded with no access to freedom of opinion and right to be informed.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based organisation, “the next ten years will be pivotal for press freedom because of converging crises affecting the future of journalism”.
The Association says it is the duty and obligation of the media to provide the consumers of our news, the best, accurate and balanced information so they can make wise and informed decisions on matters that affect their daily lives. It says the work of journalists is also undermined by disinformation or misinformation in today’s fast transforming world.
This not only misleads public opinion but also harms public trust in media.
The Fijian Media Association urges journalists to keep learning and developing from the experiences gained and to keep improving their work in disseminating information to all citizens of the country.
The Association urges them to work with the authorities but keep them accountable and honest.
It says we have to scrutinize the decisions of our leaders and ensure they meet the highest standards by addressing pressing issues affecting not only everyday Fijians but also those that are marginalized and vulnerable.
The FMA also thanks all stakeholders that it works with and seeks their continuous support and assistance in it’s everyday work.
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