THE Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) joined thousands of journalists around the world today in commemorating Press Freedom Day. In this year’s Press Freedom day, In support of a Safe and Green City, journalists and media professionals took part in a clean-up campaign from the Honiara City Council to the SIBC Headquarters in Rove. The MASI Executive says journalists and the media are often working against stringent deadlines and do not usually participate in such an undertaking. “The cleanliness of the streets in Honiara are attributed to the CAUSE workers and Public Servants every Friday. We thank them for their hard work and dedication. We also call on Honiara residents and visitors to assist in ensuring our city remains clean”. In this year’s Press Freedom Day, the MASI executive says the theme emphasizes the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “It is a day we join the media fraternity around the world in recognising the service provided by our media colleagues in defending the independent media, access to information and freedom of speech. We also remember those who suffered around the world for this cause and were killed in the name of our profession”. MASI says the theme also highlights the role of freedom of expression and the important role media play in ensuring people’s voices including civil societies and the government are heard. MASI is a strong supporter and advocate for human rights. “Let this day be a reminder to the government, stakeholders and all citizens of our collective commitment to press freedom in our country”. MASI also thanked the government for always supporting a free media in Solomon Islands. “We also call on our politicians and senior public servants to utilize the media space to keep our people informed. People also want to see and hear our leaders informing them and educating them about the policies of the country that will have an impact on their lives”. MASI also commended leaders who regularly use the media to inform and educate their people on issues affecting their lives. “We all can contribute to quelling misinformation and disinformation, if we set our minds to it. Not just to use the media as a notice board, but to be more engaging and interactive with the media for the collective good”. MASI also thanked the country’s development partners for their support. In
particular, MASI thanked BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international charity for their support to MASI the past six months as well as PACMAS, a regional media program managed by the ABC International Development. “Without all your support, we could not be where we are now and what we stand for in a democracy”.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Shaping a future of rights; Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.’ Following the clean up campaign, a light breakfast was hosted by MASI. MASI Vice President, Mr. Douglas Marau acknowledged participants in the clean up campaign. He said the clean-up campaign is not only significant for a safe and green city, but also significant as it sheds light to what Press Freedom Day really means for the media and its citizens in general.
Senior Journalist and publisher of Solomon Business Magazine Mr. Robert Iroga also shared his reflections during the event reminding journalists to always uphold
their media ethics. This year marks the 30 th anniversary of Press Freedom.