World press freedom day
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.