Quality journalism remains under threat from fake news and disinformation
The Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Dr Peya Mushelenga has called on technological establishments to counter misinformation and disinformation with free, factual and evidence-based information and avoid excessive efforts that could result in censorship of protected speech
Mushelenga highlighted this on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day commemoration in Windhoek on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, Mushelenga said this year’s celebration is being observed under the theme; ‘Journalism under Digital Siege’.
“I view this as a fitting theme for this year’s celebrations as we take stock of digital trends that pose a great threat to freedom of expression in the journalism profession,” he added.
Mushelenga further called on technology companies globally to ensure that they are transparent with their human and automated systems to remain within the framework of democracy and freedom of the press.
According to Mushelenga Namibia has moved up from position 24 to 18 globally and it is now rated the second-best African country in terms of press freedom according to the latest Press Freedom
“The government remains committed to creating a positive and enabling environment for freedom of expression and access to information, online and offline, in line with international guarantees of these rights, including a free, independent and pluralistic media,” he added.
Speaking at the same event EU Ambassador to Namibia, Sinikka Antila congratulated Namibia on retaining its spot among the top countries in Africa and 18th rank in the world as per the World Press
“Indeed, Namibia remains a beacon of media freedom,” she said, adding that the communication ecosystem has changed considerably with the emergence of social media- even to the extent that one could say that quality journalism remains under threat by “fake news” and “disinformation”.