Press Freedom is the lifeblood of democracy

Quite fittingly, President Muhammadu Buhari’s message of solidarity to the Nigerian freedom of expression community on the occasion of today’s 30th anniversary of the World Press Freedom Day has stressed the theme that a democracy without flourishing press freedom is a misnomer.

In the challenging march to build an enduring democracy, the world has finally come to a full awareness of the centrality of a free press. At least in a theoretical sense. From all corners of the globe, a head count of progress in building democracies has been matched by interesting developments and significant shifts in media freedom regimes. The once blatant attacks, the rapacious murders of journalists, the arbitrary closures of media houses, and the drenching announcements of restrictive legislations constraining media freedom, in the seventies and the eighties, have systematically transformed. What we encounter these days are more tempered constraints in the behaviour of enemies of the press, especially among state actors.

This year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the global body that keeps watch on the state of press freedom,…

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