Freedom of Press – Towards sustainable development (Challenge)
Press plays a vital role in our everyday life. It gathers and disseminates information among us, which makes us aware of what is happening around, even in corners we can not reach. For this to be possible, press should be given fair access to accurate information, in unbiased way. That is why a day was established to celebrate the freedom of press, the 3rd March every year.
I am in Benin, a country ranked among the most stable democracies in Africa. It is a country that guarantees a freedom of press, with a variety of different media channels (radio, television, newspapers…) According to Reporters Without Boarders, Benin ranks the 84thin the 2018 world press freedom index.
Nonetheless, in 2017, there were cases of media channels (claimed to belong to the opposition) that were shut down by the Haute Autorité de l’Audiovisuel et de la Communication (HACC), but fortunately were reopened early this year. This is said to have been the cause of Benin’s rank going down to 6 places on the World Press Freedom Index this year.
Press informs and it educates the population. But also in someway, it is a whistleblower, which leads to good governance. Free press is a tool that helps to achieve a sustainable development, through its power to ensure transparency and accountability.
What are your thoughts about freedom of media? And at what extent do you think media should be monitored/regulated?