Press freedom and the rights of journalists
Requiring sources to be transparent, supervising journalists’ articles, prohibiting articles from being published, and putting pressure on journalists are just some of the issues that negatively impact journalists’ rights and press freedom. This is an issue that touches all countries around the world. In connection with this issue, in 1993 the United Nations General Assembly announced the recognition of May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day. The main reason for celebrating this day is to end the persecution of the press and journalists, and to inform the public that these injustices encroaching on freedom are still active in society. Moreover, this day is a reminder of the value of press freedom and recognizing the ethical standards that governments and press organization officials should be held to.
For this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the UNESCO National Commission, Globe International Center and the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists organized a round table meeting. A variety of press organizations and departments attended the meeting and discussed the Mongolian press sector in depth. They all agreed on one thing: the need to pass a law on press freedom.
The 2014 World Press Freedom Index covered 180 countries and Mongolia was ranked 88th as a result of talking about and taking action on many things related to press freedom. Compared to the previous year, Mongolia has made progress. Last year, Mongolia ranked 99th. Finland tops the index for the fourth year and the last position is held by Eritrea. When the index was published, specialists and researchers spoke about press freedom and its ongoing challenges.
We spoke with Mongolia’s round table delegates about these issues.
D. Munkhburen, lawyer with Globe International Center
Approximately 670 journalists lost their lives in the past two decades. Nine of the ten detained journalists have not been sentenced. There is an attitude that this thing has become normal in our society. We should pay attention to it. Behind all these things, press freedom and the rights of journalists are being violated. We need a really good law that ensures our rights.
Kh.Battushig, General Secretary of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists
We are discussing development trends after 2015. We are mostly working to improve the skills of journalists. We are announcing the celebration of World Press Freedom Day not only one day, but as a month long campaign. Therefore, cooperating with the National Emergency Management Agency, we are working on journalists’ security.
Andrea Cairola, Communications and Information Advisor, UNESCO Beijing
In 2013, UNESCO appealed for attention to the following program “For a Brighter Future, Press Freedom: Intensifying the development program”. Now we are facing a very important moment to define a new goal. Today, we are discussing how we will implement the things we have talked about.
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