World press free­dom day

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

T he in­ter­na­tional press free­dom day is cel­e­brated through the world to­day with the theme: let jour­nal­ism thrive! To­wards bet­ter re­port­ing, gen­der equal­ity and me­dia safety in dig­i­tal age to­day. The day was pro­claimed by the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly in De­cem­ber 2013 fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion of UNESCO`s Gen­eral con­fer­ence.

The day is cel­e­brated world­wide as it gives an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of press free­dom, as­sess the state of press free­dom through­out the world, de­fend the me­dia from at­tacks on their de­pen­dence and pay trib­ute to jour­nal­ists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This year UNESCO, the United Na­tions agency man­dated to pro­mote and pro­tect press free­dom world­wide has an­nounced renowned jour­nal­ist and CNN Chief In­ter­na­tional Cor­re­spon­dent Aman­pour its Good­will Am­bas­sador for Free­dom of Ex­pres­sion and Jour­nal­ist safety.

This UNESCO will be fo­cus­ing on three themes for the world press free­dom day this year which in­cludes the need for qual­ity jour­nal­ism needs ac­cu­rate and in­de­pen­dent re­port­ing which has been a con­stant con­cern in a me­dia land­scape that is chang­ing due to tech­no­log­i­cal and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ments. Se­condly there is al­ways an im­bal­ance in gen­der in the me­dia even af­ter 20years of Bei­jing Dec­la­ra­tion and Plat­form for change. Only few women jour­nal­ists are able to reach de­ci­sion mak- ing po­si­tion in the me­dia. Lastly due to dig­i­ti­za­tion of me­dia, dig­i­tal safety is a topic of grow­ing con­cern be­cause dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions makes it dif­fi­cult to the jour­nal­ist to pro­tect them­selves and their sources

In Bhutan in or­der to ob­serve the day the Jour­nal­ism As­so­ci­a­tion is or­ga­niz­ing the first ever An­nual Jour­nal­ism Award and also ded­i­cat­ing to His Majesty’s the 4th Druk Gyalpo `s 60th birth an­niver­sary.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has also an­nounced the Jigme Singye Wangchuck pres­ti­gious jour­nal­ism award . The award has been in­sti­tuted to pay a trib­ute to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Fa­ther of Demo­cratic Bhutan. The award will honor the dis­tinc­tive con­tri­bu­tion and ser­vice of a jour­nal­ist who has worked more than 15 years in the field of jour­nal­ism and still con­tin­ues to do so. The Royal Of­fice for Me­dia is spon­sor­ing the cash prize for the award. The award will in­clude cash prize and cer­tifi­cate of recog­ni­tion.

Me­dia in Bhutan has been go­ing through rough wa­ters due to lack of re­sources both fi­nan­cially and in terms of hu­man ca­pac­ity to ful­fill its re­spon­si­bil­ity to its fullest. How­ever on this world press free­dom day me­dia houses must be­lieve that that democ­racy was about build­ing in­sti­tu­tions and me­dia is con­sid­ered an im­por­tant one among them. This is what our King be­lieves in. The me­dia must serve the na­tion and the coun­try and it is their sa­cred re­spon­si­bil­ity.

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