On this celebration of the International Press freedom day, we at the Ghana Institute of Journalism SRC are delighted to write this goodwill message of solidarity and hope to all journalists across the world.
As the premier communications university in the West African Sub-region, we appreciate and understand the importance of free, timely and credible journalism and its impact on the growth of our democracy and other sectors of our daily lives.
The ability of the press to freely comment and report on issues of societal concern is a freedom our society should never take for granted.
The Ghana Institute of Journalism has over the years been the premier training ground for many journalists across the globe and a historic ground for many journalists we understand the magnitude of responsibility that journalism and journalists have on their shoulders.
We are guided by the happenings of the 3rd of May, 1991 where the General Conference at its twenty-sixth session developed what is popularly known as the Windhoek Declaration. The declaration gave birth to what is today known as the International Press freedom day. That singular act later endorsed by the United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization General Conference ( UNESCO) has today become a benchmark for press freedom.
As trainees and students of Journalism, we cannot downplay the essence of the right to cover, write and publish freely. We are shaped by the contributions of those who have gone before us to even do more for society.
However, the current ratings of Ghana in the World Press Freedom Index are not only worrying but also is a major factor in the decline of the interest of students in the journalism profession, we are therefore calling on the government, Civil Society Organizations, the clergy, people in academia, journalists and all who have the tenets of free speech and the profession of Journalism at heart to do the best they can to rescue our sinking reputation in terms of Press Freedom. Currently Ghana places 60th on the world Index. A historic low for our dear country. Above all, the recent use of the digital space to bully and censor journalists must be condemned in no uncertain terms since it is gradually becoming an affront to the practice of journalism. We can not sit and watch aloof, we must safeguard the profession we so much love and do all we can to protect its future.
Today, we appreciate the work of journalists like Anasa Aremyaw Anas, Manasseh Azuri, Kwetey Nartey, Johnnie Hughes, Edward Adetti and Ahmed Suale whose life exemplifies the need to commemorate this day.
On this day we wish to celebrate every journalist who through their stories has made this world a better place. We value your contribution to our peace and stability. We value your contribution to our ever-developing world.
Happy World Press Freedom Day. May Journalism never die.