Today, May 3 Ugandan journalists have joined their colleagues from all over the world to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day.
In terms of significance, the day is supposed to reflect on the progress and challenges faced by journalists around the world and how to overcome the challenges, notably, how best to strengthen efforts aimed at accessing information.
Journalists, mostly those from African countries and the other developing countries usually operate under very strenuous conditions, facing harassment and intimidation by their ‘tormentors’ who fear the truth to be revealed. Indeed, several journalists and news reporters in Africa and other developing societies are under pressure to drop their story lines, with many facing the dire consequences of refusing to betray their conscience and professional ethos.
Of import to note is that over the years the journalism profession has managed to survive because practitioners are principled and ready to face any consequences arising out of the pursuit of their professional engagements.
Indeed, many have braved torture, intimidation, imprisonment and all other forms of abuse by governments and their agents just because they were executing their duties, which entail informing and educating the citizenry.
That noted however, freedom of the press should be a priority of any government that seeks to prosper, both socially and economically, because ultimately the free flow of information is instrumental in helping the citizens of any country make informed choices, which result in improved services and conditions of living.
So, if governments are to benefit from the activities of the media fraternity, they should support journalists because they are useful partners in development.