By Landing Ceesay
As the world comes together to observe World Press Day, the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN) calls for a more collaborative relationship between Parliament and the media to further entrench democracy on the continent.
The observance of World Press Day, according to the UN, serves to remind governments and Parliaments, specifically, of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
Olu Ibekwe, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the APPN, a network of Parliamentary journalists across 24 countries in Africa, made the following observation of the Gambia National Assembly’s setup of a Press gallery.
“A fruitful collaboration between Parliament and the media, would be further enhanced when various Parliaments on the continent are urged to encourage their Parliamentary reporters to form Press Corps or Press Galleries as was recently demonstrated by the Gambian National Assembly,”
World Press Day, celebrated on the 3rd of May, serves as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom around the world, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“The theme for this year’s observation which is scheduled for May 3 through the 6th is, “Journalism under digital siege” does not only highlight the ways in which journalism is endangered, but also the consequences of all this on public trust over digital communications,” -Mr. Ibekwe said.
The origin of World Press Day dates back to 1991, when an African Journalist present at a UNESCO conference in Windhoek, with the theme: “Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Media”, proposed the idea to promote press freedom around the world.
UNESCO adopted the Windhoek declaration on May 3, 1993. The declaration, is aimed towards the, “development of a free, independent and pluralistic press”.
By Landing Ceesay