GHANA yesterday joined the world to celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

The annual event, which is held on May 3, is to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom and evaluate press freedom around the world.

The day is also to defend the media from attacks and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s General Conference in 1991.

This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

The Ghanaian Times welcomes the fact that the occasion is to inform citizens of violations of press freedom and a reminder that in some countries, journalists are attacked and murdered just for sharing information with the public.

In recent times, Ghana has recorded some disturbing happenings which have raised the need to develop initiative to promote press freedom.

We painfully recall the gruesome murder of investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale in Accra and other incidents of assault by both police personnel and civilians on innocent journalists in the country.

These, among other issues, contributed to Ghana losing its position on the top spot of Africa’s media league table to 3rd and 27th in the world.

For now, it is only prudent that we move on from the past and build on the gains we have recorded so far since the 1992 Constitution came into effect.

More importantly, the Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide announced yesterday that a national coordinating mechanism for the safety of journalists will be introduced by July this year to ensure the safety and security of journalists across the country and support effort to counter growing attacks on journalists in the country.

We are hopeful that this mechanism will bring an end to growing impunity against journalists and enable them to discharge their mandate without fear or favour.

The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, also cautioned against misuse of media freedom to misinform the public and promote discussions that threaten Ghana’s peace and security.

Truth is that some media professionals have taken freedom of the press for granted and thrown professional ethics to the abyss.

The Ghanaian Times finds this reminder refreshing to all journalists to be responsible in the exercise of the profession and work in line with the ethics and standards expected of all.

We can only build a prosperous nation if all stakeholders including the government and journalists acknowledge the essence of press freedom and cooperate to make it count in our favour.

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