PUL Fosters Decentralized World Press Freedom Day -As Journalists Converge In River Gee Today -Mayor Koijee is Guest Speaker

In accordance with its national decentralization trust, the Press Union of Liberia today observes activities of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) in Fish Town, River Gee County.

As part of this year’s observance, the Press Union of Liberia will be hosted by the officials & people of River Gee County under the theme “Journalism under Digital Siege”. The digital era’s impact on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, access to information and privacy will be out for the review of stakeholders. 

“World Press Freedom Day 2022 in Liberia is seeking to reignite conversations on ongoing works of relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications, Center for Media Studies & Peacebuilding (CEMESP), Publishers Association of Liberia, Accountability Lab, iLab, Lonestar Cell/MTN Liberia, Orange Liberia, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Liberia Business Association, Liberia Marketing Association, , cybersecurity practitioners, Liberia National Bar Association, Law Reform Commission, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism, Legislature and the Governance Commission are expected to join the Press Union of Liberia to explore means of informing a service oriented cybersecurity law which protects the ITC space for Liberia wherein personal data and privacy rights are separately defined to give journalism the impetus to thrive,” the Union stated.

Two Community Media Forums (CMFs) will accordingly be held as part of the celebration of World Press Freedom Day in River Gee County on land rights governance.

“These CMFs are the first in a series of community dialogues that will be held in rural communities on select governance issues including trafficking in persons and land rights.  The dialogues are intending to provide the medium for ordinary Liberians to communicate their livelihood to their leaders in Monrovia through town hall forums,” the PUL noted.   

Meanwhile, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee will on today, May 3 address hundreds of journalists in Fish Town, River Gee County as guest speaker at the Press Union of Liberia organized event to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Press Freedom Day’s Orator Koijee has documented history of fighting for democracy and upholding the rights of Journalists and Media Workers.

Koijee who committed his youthful life to promoting democratic values as youth and student activist will speak on the global theme: Journalism Under Digital Siege.

He will further examine the digital impact on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, access to information and privacy in a country that has been ruled by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) since 2018.

African journalists striving in a challenged legal, economic and political environment gifted the world with a landmark tool in 1991: the Windhoek declaration on media pluralism and democracy.

Profoundly telling, the 1991 Windhoek declaration aims to upend systematic repressive policies and abuses against the independent media and court global support for the protection and enrichment of freedom of expression and democracy.

In response to the African Journalists call, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO general conference in 1991.

May 3 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.

Also it’s a day of support for the media, which are targets for restraint or abolition of press freedom.

Liberia, like many African countries and other troubled democracies shares in the dark history of abuse of press freedom and freedom of expression, humiliation, harassment and death of journalists dating far back to the country’s terror years of the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s.

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