AEJ-Bulgaria marks World Press Freedom Day with focus on the responsibility of the media

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AAEJ-Bulgaria marks May 3rd – World Press Freedom Day – putting an emphasize on journalism as a responsibility. In a moment when many media in Bulgaria report on accidents and mass tragedies in a sensational way, uncovering the identity of the victims and disrespecting their human dignity, we believe it is crucial to pay attention to the quality of the information, which, after all, is one of the main reasons for journalism to exist.
The freedom and independence of the press are of key importance, because censorship, harassment of journalists and the government and corporate pressure limit the freedom of the people to form their personal informed opinion. Equally important is professional ethics. The society has the right to be adequately and correctly informed, but this shall not happen at the price of violating the ethical standards. The fact that media use human tragedies in order to pump up their ratings is intolerable.
Therefore, AEJ-Bulgaria decided to mark May 3rd  in line with this year’s global theme the of  World Press Freedom Day: “Let journalism thrive! Towards better reporting, gender balance and media safety in the digital age”. We launched a petition, addressed at the Bulgarian media, titled “Freedom is responsibility”, which can be signed here: http://www.peticiq.com/115143
The UN General Assembly declared May 3rd a World Press Freedom Day in 1993, after UNESCO adopted a recommendation on the issue. UNESCO’s decision was a direct an answer to a call of African journalists who adopted the Declaration of Windhoek, aiming for free press and media pluralism.
Each year May 3rd reminds us of the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and freedom of the press and gives the chance to evaluate the media freedom and independence in different countries globally. World Press Freedom Day is also an opportunity to pay honour to all the brave journalists who had lost their lives while fulfilling their professional duties.