Journalists work 'in fear' in PNG, says media freedom advocate

Journalists work 'in fear' in PNG, says media freedom advocate

The arrest of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, in Myanmar last December is a vivid reminder of the ongoing need to advocate for a strong and free press as the cornerstone of any healthy democracy. He said there was a harsh economic environment and declining media revenues.

In his message on the Press Freedom Day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said a free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all.

"We have no other country than Nigeria and what we make of it is what we get".

Opondo, who represented Frank Tumwebaze, minister of information, said the media holds those in leadership accountable and also cements democracy.

But an access to information law, which will enable journalists and the general public to get information needs to be rolled out, said chairperson on Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi chapter. "It is also an opportunity to examine the new challenges regarding the freedom of online press".

"Working in some of the most hard conditions, they have faced threats, intimidation and violence for simply doing their jobs". We continue to call for their immediate release.




Following the clash, journalists staged a sit-in.

President Uhuru Kenyatta administration has been categorical that it champions for media freedom in the country and following the switch off it came out strongly defending its action saying that it was necessary at the time. "Dozens of countries jail journalists on dubious grounds of protecting national security", Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement.

The NMC chairman said, however, that the strides made in media freedom, did not automatically translate into quality "that is why I have said that we are free but not necessarily independent". The entire waves were liberalised, TVs and radios are everywhere.

He also said the fact that government has not yet touched on the law demanding that all journalists be registered to practice in the country, speaks a lot about the level of freedom in this country. "This is more potent and unsafe than any other threat to journalists, even more than threats from state and non-state actors". Everyone, whether qualified or not, can open a newspaper.

He added: "Opponents of government enjoy and dominate media space".

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