Last September 28 was World News Day.
According to reports, journalists and media outfits throughout the free world honor the day to commemorate the lasting and fearless legacy of newscasting. News reporting has been a major and vital aspect of social life. Moreover, people have relied on journalists to get a hold of what’s going on for the past 100 years or so. In doing so, the business of newscasting has grown to epic proportions. However, the proliferation of fake news and social media threatens the legacy of newscasting.
According to The World News Day website:
World News Day celebrates the work of professional news organisations and the impact they make on the communities they serve. In an age of fake news and misinformation, World News Day aims to raise public awareness of the critical role that newsrooms and journalists play in providing the public with credible and reliable news and views, to help people make sense of – and improve – the rapidly changing world around them.
At a time when fake news and disinformation hounds the public, now more than ever do the media need to step up its game. And this serves as the premise for the celebration of September 28 as the day to celebrate and remember the legacy of news.
World News Day remembers Press Freedom and Human Rights
Throughout the globe, there have been a number of reports of journalists getting killed or hurt. In China, press freedom is heavily curtailed as reports are flagged and washed to remove anti-Chinese content. In North Korea, the state controls all media and press releases. However, two nations serve as hot spots for journalists: Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.
In Saudi Arabia, notable critical journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed for criticizing the government. Apparently, Saudi officials denied the hand in killing the hapless journalist. However, new pieces of evidence suggest that the murder was already determined prior to the occurrence.
In the Philippines, threats to media outfits are a day to day struggle. Incidentally, these outfits are those critical to President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that has caused more than 20,000 deaths. Moreover, the Maguindanao Massacre of 2009 happened in this country. The Maguindanao Massacre saw the murder of more than 50 journalists and reporters en route to the regions’ city hall.
In saying so, the commemoration is a welcome development to raise media awareness. However, it’s not enough. The challenge to ensure the safety and security of journalists, as well as the checking of the validity of news, falls upon us all.
Happy World News Day, folks!