At a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Media Institute of Southern Africa Tanzania Chapter (Misa-tan) Chairperson Salome Kitomari said the event is expected to bring together several dignitaries including those from government, the diplomatic corp and many others.
“The theme of the cerebration highlights the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom, and gives special attention to the role of an independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and the prosecution of crimes against journalists,” said Kitomari.
This year’s WPFD theme is ‘keeping power in check: Media, Justice and the rule of Law’
According to her, the theme also addresses the role of the media in sustainable development, especially during elections- as a watchdog fostering transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
The event which is commemorated on 3 May each year, has been jointly organized MISA Tanzania chapter, UNESCO, Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC), United Nations Tanzania office, Unicef Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Tanzania office, Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT),Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF),Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Internews and the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
In her remarks, the Director for Tanzania Media Foundation Fausta Musokwa said the day is important as it allows journalists and other stakeholders to evaluate themselves as well as deliberate on the future of the industry.
Globally the day will be commemorated in Accra Ghana which is the second time for the event to take place in Africa after 25 years when it was held in Windhoek Namibia.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
It is aimed at celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.