Uni marks World Media Freedom Day

Divine Word University (DWU) celebrated World Media Freedom Day at its Madang campus today (Friday 29th April) - four days ahead of the actual date of 3rd May. This is in keeping with the DWU calendar in which the University hosts the international media freedom day on the Friday before the University Open Day that is staged on the first Sunday of May each year. The DWU Open Day is on Sunday 1st May, 2016.

The Communication Arts Department in partnership with sister departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences hosted the international event.

The students and staff celebrated the day under this year’s theme “Access to information is a fundamental right, use your voice, it’s your right”.

Journalism students and their colleagues in the faculty celebrated the contributions of journalists who have advocated for and committed their lives for peace and freedom in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and around the world.

Mr. Maivo Lafanama, the Senior Reporter (Police and Courts) for public broadcaster of PNG, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Port Moresby was the keynote speaker.

The various presentations highlighted the importance of access to information which is the cornerstone of press freedom and human freedom in general.

While the day is an opportunity for showcasing our solidarity to press freedom through the upcoming press scholars that are studying in the university, it built the momentum towards showcasing Divine Word University on Open Day. The World Media Freedom Day celebration was held at the SVD Memorial Auditorium which was filled to capacity.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the international day in 1993 and UNESCO leads the global celebrations. The 1993 declaration according to UNESCO was made “following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991."

“This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.”

“Every year, 3rd May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to 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.
Over 100 national celebrations take place each year to commemorate this Day.”

“UNESCO leads the worldwide celebration by identifying the global thematic and organizing the main event in different parts of world every year.”