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GIS Director Addresses Press Freedom Day

PRESS RELEASE – THE role of the media in supporting democratic development and in stimulating intellectual growth is recognized internationally, he says.

The Director of Information Services at the Government Information Service (GIS), addressed the Saint Lucian public on Wednesday, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

GIS Director, Clement Wulf-Soulage, noted that the mass communications landscape is growing increasingly fragmented.

“Globally, the media is at a crossroads,” he said. “These are not normal times and the current events around the world offer depressing insights into the limits of democracy and press freedom. While we’ve been waxing poetic about how the world has become a global village, the reality is that today’s mass communications landscape is undergoing an unprecedented amount of fragmentation and polarization. Media houses around the world are now becoming more like churches — defined by political and cultural ideology; and promoting beliefs, values and special interests espoused by dubious demographic groups.”

The DIS also discussed the link between press freedom and democracy.

“The role of the media in supporting democratic development and in stimulating intellectual growth is now increasingly recognized in international policy and academic institutions the world over. The media should play a bigger role in providing the facts necessary for intelligent choice. Simply reporting the news is not enough, more analyses and back stories are needed.

“Journalists have an important role in our democracy, their job being to scrutinize the government in power, and to challenge it. On that basis, there will always be tensions between the government and the press, but governments do recognize that free and independent journalism reinforces democracy, justice, and the rule of law.”

World Press Freedom Day, observed annually on May 3, celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluates press freedom around the world, and pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

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