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Cameroon with frail press celebrates world press freedom day

Journalists in Cameroon today join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate the 2017 edition of world press freedom day. This year’s cele...

Journalists in Cameroon today join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate the 2017 edition of world press freedom day. This year’s celebration falls under the theme:  media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

Commemorated every year on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluate press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

It is also a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

Though journalist and media organisations around the world are prone to attacks on their freedom of expression and dissemination, it is not debatable that those in develop countries enjoy far more freedom of expression than those in developing nations.

In Cameroon for instance, although journalists to an extent enjoy the “controlled” press freedom, much is yet to be done on press freedom in the country. The Cameroon government always align with news organs that are less critical of its action, and severely punishes those that are opposed to government views.

Publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. The situation aggravated in the wake of the Anglophone problem in November 2016, which course the government to shutdown internet in the two English speaking regions of the country for at least 3 months, in order to restrict the flow of information.

Therefore on day like this set aside in remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story, journalist also remind governments in their respective countries of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.

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