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UN SG says Media workers help make informed decisions

KARACHI: Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres in his message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day stated that journalists and Media workers were crucial to helping UN make informed decisions.

United Nations maintains that 3rd day of May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to Press Freedom and is also a day of reflection among Media professionals about issues of Press Freedom and professional ethics.

UN reckons World Press Freedom Day as an occasion to support Media that is targeted for reporting the truth. The Day is also observed to remember those journalists/Media Workers who had to pay the ultimate price for truth in the form of death.

Secretary General in his message stated: “As the world fights the Covid-19 pandemic, those decisions can make the difference between life and death. On World Press Freedom Day, we call on governments- and others – to guarantee that journalists can do their jobs throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. As the pandemic spreads it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories.

“The Press provides the antidote: verified scientific fact based news and analysis. But since the pandemic began, many journalists are being subjected to increased restrictions and punishments simply for doing their jobs. Temporary constraints on freedom of movement are essential to beat Covid-19. But they must not be abused as an excuse to crack down on journalist’s ability to do their work.

“Today we thank the Media for providing facts and analysis; for holding leaders- in every sector- accountable; and for speaking truth to power. We particularly recognize those who are playing a lifesaving role reporting on public health, and we call on governments to protect media workers and to strengthen and maintain press freedom which is essential for a future of peace, justice and human rights for all,” the Secretary General held.

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in his message on the occasion of Press Freedom Day said: “At a time when we are mired in worry and uncertainty because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, free information is essential to helping us face, understand, think about and overcome this crisis.

“We must consider the vital importance of information in this situation: informing the public means giving everyone the means of combating the illness by adopting appropriate practices. This is why the Organization has teamed up with the rest of the United Nations family to fight the “infodemic” of rumours and disinformation which is exacerbating the pandemic and putting lives at risk.

“To help put an end to the problem, we have joined forces to promote two major social-media campaigns, Together for Facts, Science and Solidarity and Don’t Go Viral.” | YouTube Channel

Dr. Iffet Sultana

Prof. Dr. Iffet Sultana PhD (Education), IQRA University, M.Phil. (Environmental Education) IQRA University, Master’s in Educational Administration & Management (University of Karachi). Dr. Iffet Sultana has been associated with IQRA University as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management Sciences, Department of Business Administration since 2013. Her PhD Thesis is on “Girls’ Access & Equity in Primary Education in the Slum Areas of Karachi”. In the past, she has worked for the Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan. She has presented numerous research papers in National and International Conferences. Her areas of special interest are Girls’ Education, Inclusive Education, Environmental Education and Gender Studies. She has been actively teaching and stimulating student’s interest in Social Science and Developmental Sciences Subjects including Education, Sociology, Psychology & other Contemporary Subjects. Dr. Sultana is also associated with various NGOs in the capacity of Consultant. Writes for News as Contributing Editor (particularly focusing on the UN International Days.)