Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while greeting media persons on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, appealed to the people to respect the freedom of journalists to ensure a “fearless and free press”.
In a message, Singh said that the celebration of World Press Freedom Day is a reaffirmation of the world’s commitment to the right to freedom of opinion and expression. A free press, he opined, makes a government accountable, enhances awareness of important issues among people and benefits society.
“It (media) is an essential pillar of any democracy… I call upon everyone to respect the freedom of journalists and contribute towards a fearless and free press in all parts of the country and the world,” he said.
It should be mentioned that after a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of Unesco’s General Conference in 1991, the United Nations had declared May three as World Press Freedom Day in 1993.
World Press Freedom Day provides an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while performing their duty.