Maryland County, Venue for 2018 World Press Freedom Day

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Ahead of World Press Freedom Day, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) through the office of its Secretary-General (SG) has disclosed that this year’s celebration will be held in Maryland County, in the country’s southeastern region. Daniel Nyankonah announced this year’s venue for the observance to his media colleagues last Friday at the union’s headquarters in Monrovia.

World Press Freedom Day is observed throughout the world by journalists.

Nyankonah stated that following discussions with some media representatives in Monrovia,  Maryland was chosen because “it is very important not to continue being afraid to venture with the union’s activities into the southeast of Liberia.”

The PUL SG recalled that during his predecessor’s administration, former PUL president Abdulai Kamara’s used to “take the bull by the horns, venturing into Grand Gedeh County,” an act he said that was very successful despite the union’s challenges over the years.

“This time around we challenged ourselves that we can move into Harper City, Maryland County to celebrate with our journalism colleagues in that area,” he said. According to Mr. Nyankonah, “these measures are intended to ensure the full Liberian story is told from that part of the country.”

Nyankonah emphasized that it is also important to venture out of Monrovia to effectively cover stories that are coming from the southeast, adding: “The PUL, being the biggest governing body of all journalists in the country, is encouraging our media colleagues to join us in this year’s celebration.’’

He stressed that the PUL will work with other partners to raise the necessary media resources ahead of the celebration to get more journalists interested in attending the events.

Meanwhile, ahead of the World Press Freedom Day celebration, the PUL has already begun setting up the preparatory committee far ahead of time so that the celebration becomes a success.

Every year, May 3 is the date set aside to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and to pay tribute to those journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their professional duties.

May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens about the violations of press freedom -a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It further serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

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