Spiritual Empowerment for Press Freedom: World Press Freedom Day 2024

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Last Updated on 27 April 2024 IST: This year, World Press Freedom Day 2024 is set to be a momentous occasion, co-hosted by Chile and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) between May 2nd and 4th. The event will be held in Santiago de Chile, marking a significant moment for the South American nation. This choice isn’t just about location; it reflects the growing importance of press freedom issues in the Global South.  

World Freedom Press Day 2024 Theme

The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2024 is  “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the Environmental Crisis.” This theme highlights the critical role of journalists and a free press in informing the public about the environmental challenges we face and holding authorities accountable for taking action.

Why is World Press Freedom Day Celebrated? 

World Press Freedom Day is founded on the principles of ensuring journalists and media professionals to report news freely, without censorship or restrictions. Its motive is to uphold and defend the essential freedom of the press. To understand its significance, let’s imagine a situation in school where seniors are scolding you unfairly. When you complain to the teacher, but they ignore you and refuse to help. It would leave you feeling frustrated and unheard.This sense of frustration and being unheard parallels the global scale of journalism and media. Press reporters and media professionals serve as platforms for people’s voices, crucial for information to reach its audience without interference or bias. They must provide a platform for people’s voices. So that it can reach its desired place. 

World Press Freedom Day Significance

World Press Freedom Day highlights the significance of the press and its freedom. The primary role of the media is to facilitate direct communication between the government and the people. Often regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy, the press holds the power to reveal truth and shape public opinion worldwide. This day serves as a reminder of the fundamental principles of press freedom and aims to support and defend the media’s freedom and independence. Unfortunately, media professionals face harassment and even murder in various countries while carrying out their duties.  

World Press Freedom Day: History

The United Nations General Assembly established World Press Freedom Day in 1993, obeying a suggestion by UNESCO’s General Conference. The day was initiated to showcase the significance of press freedom and to bring out the hardships that journalists encounter around the globe in holding up their responsibilities. In Namibia, many African journalists came together for a seminar organized by UNESCO  promoting a pluralistic and independent press and proposed the idea of establishing World Press Freedom Day in 1991. 

■ Read in Hindi: World Press Freedom Day: क्या है लोकतंत्र के चौथे स्तंभ की अहमियत?

They proposed that May 3rd be designated as a global day to celebrate and defend press freedom. The proposal was later approved by UNESCO’s General Conference, and in 1993, the UN General Assembly announced 3rd May as World Press Freedom Day. Since then, the day has been commemorated yearly to generate awareness about the significance of press freedom and to emphasize the need to safeguard media independence.

Media Reporters Death Ratio 

The perils faced by journalists worldwide are starkly illuminated by data from Statista [https://www.statista.com/chart/29909/number-of-journalists-and-media-workers-killed-worldwide/ ]. Since the year 2000, a staggering 1,795 journalists and media workers have been killed globally. This grim statistic underscores the inherent dangers associated with investigative reporting, particularly in war zones and regions grappling with political or social unrest. Journalists who cover sensitive topics like politics, war, human rights, corruption and organized crime are especially vulnerable. These areas often involve powerful individuals or groups who may seek to silence critical voices. The data serves as a sobering reminder of the courage and dedication required for journalists to bring vital information to the public eye, even at great personal risk.

Every year many Ground media reporters and journalists are killed. Why? Because they sincerely do their work and make society aware of true news and information. UNESCO’s data showed that there are no safe spaces for journalists. 91 of the 117 journalists killed in 2020-2021 were killed while away from their offices. Most killings occurred outside their newsrooms. Some journalists were murdered in the street or in their vehicles, and some were kidnapped to then be found dead.

Several were killed in front of family members, including their children. In the year 2022, 67 reporters were killed and from (2002 to 2022) a total of 1668 reporters were killed in the past 20 years. The lives of our Reporters are still in danger so just to deal with this global problem UNESCO is dealing with this situation and implementing many laws and acts to protect the life of Reporters. The fundamental principles of World press freedom day are to empower our Reporter’s rank.

India’s Ranking in Global Press Freedom

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF)’s World Press Freedom Index for 2023, India’s ranking is not ideal. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Rank: 161 out of 180 countries [RSF World Press Freedom Index]
  • Score: 36.62 (lower scores indicate greater press freedom restrictions)
  • Change: This reflects a significant decline of 11 positions compared to 2022, when India ranked 150th.

This ranking places India among countries where the press freedom situation is considered “very serious” by RSF.

Every year the list of all countries prepared by reporters without Borders. It is a Paris-based NGO that works to prepare freedom of expression and information ranking. Rank of India is very disappointing in the world press freedom index, As the world’s largest democratic government meanwhile promises to protect the reporters.

The citizens are gravely concerned about its steadily declining rank, which has sparked heated discussions among journalists, governments, political parties, and bureaucrats. In reaction, the Indian government rejected the rankings and questioned the veracity of the information compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

Only Spirituality can Help prevent the Truth and Democracy 

Spirituality offers profound solutions to problems, regardless of their scale. Within the media, numerous journalists and reporters have made great sacrifices, including their lives, to bring to light truths that would otherwise remain hidden. These brave individuals play a vital role in bridging the gap between what the public knows and what it needs to know. However, as society becomes increasingly detached from understanding the laws and principles of the Supreme God, there’s a tendency for people to drift towards unethical behaviours and criminal activities. To counteract this trend, it becomes crucial for individuals to explore spirituality and seek guidance from those who represent and impart the knowledge of the Almighty God. By understanding spirituality and knowing God’s constitution, individuals can navigate challenges with greater clarity and make decisions that align with God’s law, thus fostering a more harmonious and ethical society.

Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj is the only Savior 

Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj is the representative of the Supreme god Kabir, so take refuge in Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj and understand the Spiritual knowledge and bind yourself to God’s constitution. For more information download Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj Android application from Google Play Store. 

World Press Freedom Day 2024 Quotes

  • “The courage to present the truth is what the media is all about”
  • “For the Press, freedom is a must as well as the responsibility which comes with freedom”
  • “Freedom reminds us of the need to liberate our souls from the hassle of birth and death”
  • “Media is the fourth pillar of democracy if it is having freedom and is not solely working for TRP”
  • “A free Press gives us freedom of expressing ourselves”
  • “A free press gives voice to the speechless, strength to the oppressed, & justice to the meek”

How to Get Perfect Press Freedom?

Achieving perfect press freedom involves upholding the fundamental rights of freedom of the press and expression. Unfortunately, in recent times, these rights have been increasingly violated by those in positions of power and authority. Many misuse their influence to manipulate media professionals for their own selfish purposes. What media professionals require is the refuge of someone more powerful than these individuals.

Who Can Protect Media Professionals? 

In today’s world, media professionals face numerous threats, making it challenging for journalists to adhere to true media ethics. In such difficult times, only an enlightened saint with the powers of the Almighty God can offer assistance. Currently, Jagatguru Tatvdarshi Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj has incarnated with the true powers and authority of Almighty God Kabir. Taking refuge in Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj through Naam Initiation (Naam Diksha) can benefit media professionals. Those who perform true worship of Supreme God Kabir, as per the holy scriptures, are guaranteed protection of their rights and safety of life.

Media Should Also Understand Its Responsibility

It’s evident that the media frequently obstructs the free flow of news, but it’s equally true that the media itself isn’t always blameless. Often, news becomes more about generating TRP (Television Rating Points) than focusing on the truth. India’s experience with the case of Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj is a stark example of this. In this instance, the media failed to adhere to even the most basic ethical standards, spreading lies to boost ratings.

The pursuit of sensationalism led to the dissemination of misinformation, causing harm and creating a skewed narrative. However, faced with public outrage, the media was compelled to issue apologies, also there are instances where media outlets stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, even when presented with undeniable evidence. While it’s essential to preserve the freedom of the media, it’s equally imperative for the media to recognize and uphold its responsibility to the public.

FAQs on World Press Freedom Day

How do you define World Press Freedom Day?

Ans: Every year on May 3, there is a celebration known as World Press Freedom Day to promote awareness of the value of press freedom and to defend the media against threats to its independence.

Why is World Press Freedom Day so significant?

Ans: Democratic society cannot function without the freedom of the press, which is a fundamental right. It enables reporters to look into and report on topics of public interest without worrying about reprisals, censorship, or repression. 

When was the first World Press Freedom Day?

Ans: Recommendation made at the UNESCO General Conference in 1991 led to the creation of World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

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