Media freedom and development

How press freedom contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals

MISA Tanzania believes with the United Nations that strengthening Media and Information Literacy in society should be a key objective of all countries in their efforts to achieve the 2030 Development Agenda.

Every year, May 3 is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom. It is used as an opportunity to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

In our present time, we are reminded that access to information is a fundamental right which is part of the basic human right to freedom of expression. Receiving and imparting information, both offline and online, is a cornerstone of democracy, good governance, and rule of law. World Press Freedom Day also now relevantly highlights the importance of free and independent journalism for advancing the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Joint collaboration for a National Commemoration of World Press Freedom Day aims to strengthen common action for a conducive legal and regulatory framework; synergies in implementation for increased access to information and freedom of expression; and a common vision for the achievement of related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The General Objective of the Commemoration in 2017 was  to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their commitments made to respect and uphold the Right to Freedom of Expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and mark the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles made in 1991.

Specifically by:

  1. Engaging media stakeholders, actors and general public, particularly the Youth, in highlighting and addressing key issues relevant to building a conducive environment for transparency and accountability
  2. Providing a platform for dialogue on current developments in the media environment affecting access to information and press autonomy
  3. Drawing consensus for action through a national mechanism for the safety and protection of journalists and media workers, online and offline
  4. To advocate for policy and legal framework reform for media progress for sustainable development

MISA Tanzania believes that the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired in 2015, have contributed to the improvement of livelihoods of countless human beings all over the world. At the current stage of the international debate on the 2030 Development Agenda, headed by the United Nations, there is a clear understanding that openness, transparency, freedom of speech and the media and access to information need to form an essential part of successful current and future development initiatives.