'Genuine democracy can not exist without media freedom' - EU Parliamentary President

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It observed that in some of the Islands, political parties even own or have major shares in media companies, compromising journalistic independence. "Cameroonian journalists are harassed, looked down upon, thrown in jail and dehumanized, we must come together if we want to make our environment conduisive" Nkwebo cried out in a forum in Douala.

Journalists at the SABC were at some point past year instructed to stop reporting negatively on President Jacob Zuma and have a 70% "positive" news and 30% "negative" news balance on its news cycle. The CPJ's 2017 "Attacks on the Press" report, released last month, tracked its highest number of jailed journalists around the world yet - 259 - and over 1,200 journalists killed on the job in the past 25 years, from Mexico to Russian Federation to Iraq and Syria. "I call on every Afghan to stand with the fearless men and women of the media and recognize their many contributions to democracy and civil society in Afghanistan", he said. The journalists and the leaders of their representative bodies freedom of expression was inalienable right which would be defended at every cost.

More than a few journalists have been imprisoned under this draconian law, and civil society has been right to speak out against it.

This year's celebration theme is: "Critical minds for critical times: Media role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive society".

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Countries that witnessed the largest decline in press freedom are Poland, Turkey, Burundi, Hungary, Bolivia, Serbia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such reporting, whether by journalists, citizen journalists, community reporters or media professionals, should be the result of thorough investigation and fact-checking, and can contrast different voices to reflect the diversity and plurality of opinions. "We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms - especially in democracies", RSF said.

The IFJ listed 93 cases of killings of journalists around the world a year ago and in 2017, 13 have lost their lives to violence so far.

"May I therefore use this opportunity to call on stakeholders to promote ethical and professional standard in journalism, particularly during elections and conflict situations in our dear country, " Agwai said.

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