Vice President Arrives in Barclayville Ahead of World Press Freedom Day Celebration – FrontPageAfrica
BARCLAYVILLE, Grand Kru County — The Vice President of the 54th Legislature and Representative for Grand Kru County District No. 2, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa arrived in Barclayville on Thursday ahead of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebration, organized by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).
The Vice President is in Barclayville and will be the guest speaker for the World Press Freedom Day indoor program which is scheduled for Monday, May 3, 2021.
The program coincides with the Vice President’s tour of the 45 communities, which will begin on Friday, April 16.
The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is: “Information as a public good; 30 years of the Windbook Declaration.
According to the theme of the event, the Grand Kru County legislator is expected to focus his speech on encouraging press freedom, independence and pluralism in Liberia and Africa in general and other parts of the world.
The Grand Kru County District No. 2 Representative will speak on the role of free, independent and pluralistic media in light of the ongoing pressures and violence faced by media professionals.
The vice president would culminate his speech with the responsibilities that come with the right to free speech, which implies that every citizen is held accountable for exercising this right, which means careless comments and careless remarks can cause trouble if rights are not exercised responsibly.
The Vice President is a prominent legal adviser, administrator and public figure who is a clear champion of press freedom by promoting media diversity in Grand Kru County with the establishment of Radio Ahteenah which offers disadvantaged residents of the county the opportunity to be heard. .
Hundreds of Liberian journalists from across the country have started to converge on the capital of Grand Kru County, Barclayville, where this year’s event will take place.
Meanwhile, the universal theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day stemmed from the Windhoek Declaration after a successful seminar.
The Windhoek seminar
From April 29 to May 3, 1991, independent African journalists gathered at the UNESCO Seminar “Promoting Independent and Pluralistic African Media” held in Windhoek, Namibia. The conference focused on the role of free, independent and pluralistic media in light of the constant pressures and violence faced by media professionals working in Africa.
The Windhoek seminar on “promoting an independent and pluralistic African press” was held in partnership with other United Nations agencies such as the UNDP. The event was supported by 12 international agencies, including Nordic donors, the International Federation of Journalists, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the World Association of Newspapers. A total of 63 participants from 38 countries took part. Hage Geingob, then Prime Minister of the newly independent Namibia, set the tone by emphasizing the importance of independence and the watchdog role of the press.
The Declaration was adopted in 1991 in a climate of optimism. This was due, in large part, to Namibia’s regained freedom, the slow dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, and growing resistance to African dictatorships and autocratic development regimes. This context has given impetus to democratic reforms in a rapidly changing media environment across the continent.
The Windhoek perspective continues to imply an important role for governments, but within firm parameters of freedom, pluralism and independence. States must be proactive in protecting journalists and improving opportunities for citizens to exercise freedom of expression. And states should avoid controlling the media and having a state monopoly over the media. In addition, Windhoek’s view on pluralism indicates that states provide legal and practical support to sectors such as public service and community media.