Press Freedom Day being observed today

Lucy Bush
May 3, 2018

We are where we are because the constitution provides clarity on the rights of journalists, the right of the media and provides a plural media that will be free and independent and so that is very important.

However, Fiji's chair of the media regulatory authority, Ashwin Raj cautioned the interpretation of the new rankings saying, "The issue of political bias must not be confused and equated with press freedom".

"In order to guarantee better protection for journalists, UNESCO encourages the setup of national mechanisms for the safety of journalists", he added.

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Making the commentary as it released its annual World Press Freedom Index, the RSF ranked Fiji 57 out of 180 countries, an improvement of 10 points from 2017 when Fiji was ranked 67. On the other hand, the media's watchdog role is crucial to hold governments and institutions accountable. "Freedom" does not mean that those who are at the helm of affairs in media houses have the right to malign people or abuse their authority but to give facts and figures in the best interest of the people.

Press freedom has come under increasing attack in countries around the world with even the biggest democracies failing to live up to their expectations.

He noted that over the last few years, the country had advanced from a couple of radio stations and one television station, to scores of radio stations and now free-to-air television stations were also counted in the dozens.

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The police said a motive for the attack had not yet been determined, but they were looking at Sestoso's radio work for clues.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference.

Modi also appreciated the role of active social media users who have 'helped in safeguarding the freedom of press and expression'.

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Today we reaffirm EU's determination to keep protecting and promoting freedom of opinion and of expression as rights to be exercised by everyone everywhere, based on the principles of equality, non-discrimination and universality, through any media, within our borders and beyond.

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