May 6, 2016 / By Pius Rugonzibwa, in All AfricaBy Pius Rugonzibwa
Mwanza — Media professionals and stakeholders this week convened in Mwanza to commemorate World Press Freedom Day (WPRD) graced by the Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman as the Guest of Honour.
The media event attracted a number of dignitaries including the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Mr Nape Nnauye.
Other dignitaries were UNESCO Country Representative and Head of Office, Ms Zulmira Rodrigues, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez, Deputy Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation Ms Luana Reale and other diplomats based in Tanzania, Held under the theme; “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedom: This is Your Right,” this annual event profiled the fundamental principles of press freedom, providing a platform for all media sector actors to evaluate press freedom in Tanzania and around the world as well as promoting dialogue and calling for action to protect media workers from persecution in their line of work.
Other important activities included paying tribute to journalists and other media professionals who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
WPFD was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on Media Pluralism and Independence.
The day has ever since grown to become a forum for media stakeholders to urge states to stand by their commitments and joint action to put in place, friendly media laws and to ensure a general conducive working environment which guarantees press freedom in their respective countries.
According to the organizers of this year’s event, contrary to the past four years when the day was marked without inviting any of the government officials, it was decided that this year the minister responsible for the fraternity be one of the dignitaries with a specific target of persuading him to respond to a number of issues and grievances from the media practitioners and of course, quite a number of suggestions. When he took the podium to give his introductory remarks, the Chairman of the organizing committee and head of MISA-Tanzania Chapter Mr Simon Berege chose to mince no words.