Mushelenga lauds journalists for role in Covid-19 fight

Some media houses have demonstrated a sense of responsibility by positively contributing to public education about the pandemic.

13 October 2020 | Economics

Their dissemination of accurate information has been particularly important, given competing fake news on social media. Peya Mushelenga, Minister of ICT.

Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Peya Mushelenga, has applauded journalists and media houses around the world for educating the public on the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister made the statement at the World Press Freedom Day 2021 and 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration kick-off event at the Government Information Centre in Windhoek.

Mushelenga said he has taken note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, some media houses have demonstrated a sense of responsibility by positively contributing to public education about the pandemic and safety measures people should take.

“Their dissemination of accurate information has been particularly important, given competing fake news on social media from faceless sources that derail efforts to address the pandemic,” he said.

The minister said while government has the duty to guarantee media freedom, the principle of objectivity implores upon media practitioners to exercise media freedom with a sense of responsibility and duty to human dignity, public morality and civility.

He further noted that as the world continues to navigate the pandemic that has shaken the world to its core and forced people to adapt to new ways of doing things, he hopes that the situation will improve for the world to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2021 appropriately under the new normal.

Namibia will host the 2021 World Press Freedom Day commemoration and the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration.

The Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press is a statement of press freedom principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991. The declaration was produced at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) seminar, ‘Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press,’ held in Windhoek from 29 April until 03 May 1991.

The date of the declaration's adoption, 03 May, was declared World Press Freedom Day.

On Namibia’s hosting the event next year, Unesco country representative, Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum at the same event said he expects that media professionals and journalists from around the world will join the media fraternity in Namibia to debate on the changing landscape and emerging issues related to media and journalism in the world.

“We are very proud of the steps already accomplished on the preparation of this important event. We stand firm to support the government of the Republic of Namibia and the media fraternity in this important celebration and I am calling on our partners to join us to amplify this support,” he said. - Nampa

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