Participants at the World Press Freedom Day celebration in Accra, Ghana, have called for the media to disseminate credible and verifiable information to the public.
A Declaration adopted at the end of event said it was by so doing that journalists could monitor and hold powerful public and social actors to account, expose illegality and any other form of wrongdoing.
“Keeping power in check, media, justice and the rule of law’ was the theme chosen for the global celebration hosted jointly by the Government of Ghana and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
It was attended by about 900 participants.
The Accra Declaration also called for fair pay and improved working conditions for media workers.
It underlined the need to uphold Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this includes freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
It noted that freedom of expression, including media freedom, was a fundamental underpinning for the successful operation of all democratic mechanisms which kept power in check and hold it to account.
The Declaration reminded states of their obligation to create enabling legal and policy environment to foster independent and diverse media sector and to promote respect for freedom of expression.
Civil society, academia and the technical community should advocate for reform of the legal and policy framework to bring it into line with international standards regarding freedom of expression, especially in relation to laws affecting the dissemination of information via digital communications tools.
Mr. Getachew Engida, the Deputy Director-General, UNESCO, applauded Ghana for the successful organisation of the two-day event.