When journalism is compromised, we cannot protect human rights - World Press Freedom Day 2023

The South African Government has commemorated World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, by reassuring its commitment to uphold the right to freedom of expression and independence of the media.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually on 3 May, and 2023 marks the 30th anniversary since its inception.

This year’s theme - “Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights’”, signifying the importance of freedom of expression as a protection for human rights.

Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said this year’s theme provides an opportunity to discuss and debate the development and protection of human rights with a focus on the link to freedom of expression within the overall human rights agenda.

‘’For South Africa, this day follows on the heels of Freedom Day, in which the country celebrated freedoms gained since the advent of democracy. It is acknowledged that freedom of expression by the press functions as an enabler for other human rights.’’

‘’In South Africa we have an independent, vibrant and free press who help to verify and disseminate facts, and create opportunities for ideas to be debated and for the voiceless to be heard. The media’s expression contributed to the many human rights realised in our country and it continues to raise challenges we face. Therefore it is imperative our press continues to embrace the principles of fair and objective journalism,” she added.

Khumbudzo said it was important and responsible to protect credible and bona fide news in an era of misinformation and disinformation.

‘’The need for trustworthy and fact checked news for public good is crucial and growing everyday. Thus, freedom of expression, today, still requires steadfast and determined role players, to confront the real story verses fake news. Government reaffirms its commitment to uphold the right to freedom of expression and the independence of our media as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’’ said Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister in the Presidency.

As a community organisation, Bush Radio exists to serve the community. On 25 April 2023, Bush Radio marked its 30th anniversary of illegal broadcast, which forced the issue of community broadcasting onto the legislative agenda in South Africa and paved the way for the airwaves to be opened and the development of a community radio sector.

The idea of Bush Radio started in the 1980’s when community activists and alternative media producers came together to explore ways in which grassroots media could be used for social upliftment and as an alternative voice to the media available under apartheid.

The Mother of Community Radio In Africa, Bush Radio’s slogan, ensures that communities who have been denied access to resources take part in producing ethical, creative and responsible radio that encourages them to communicate with each other, to take part in decisions that affect their lives, and to celebrate their own cultures. Through such radio, communities will affirm their own dignity and identity, and promote social responsibility and critical thinking.


Done By: Mitchum George


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