Somali Media Marks Press Freedom Day

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May 3 is a date that celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom to evaluate around the world. Somali media marked world press freedom day on Sunday in the capital, Mogadishu, to give recognition for the sacrifices made in the struggle for freedom of the press and to pressure the government to stop denying their citizens this basic human right.

The May 3 message is that journalists everywhere must be granted the right to report freely and without fear, 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.

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

It marks World Press Freedom Day each year by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organizations and UN agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges.

Each conference is centered on a theme related to press freedom, including good governance media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries such as Somalia.

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In Somalia today, there are competitions for thriving media in the whole country, which is growing speedily across the regions. These include radios, TVs, websites, digital outreach and newspapers.

Mogadishu alone has over 30 FM radio stations, 8 TV stations, 8 satellite TV stations and more than 100 news websites.

Over 100 national celebrations take place to commemorate this Day including many communities, organizations and individuals taking part through various events such as art exhibitions, dinners featuring keynote speakers, and awards nights to honor those who risked their lives to bring news to the world.

Omar Wardere is a Somali researcher, reporter and editor. He is a committee member of National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and member of Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa.