Diasporian News of 2014-05-31

“Journalists must be supported" - Thomas S. Saras

“Journalists must be supported by those who are controlling Democratic Governments”-Thomas S. Saras From Joe Kingsley Eyiah, City Hall, Toronto-Canada The President of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), Thomas S. Saras has called on all democratic governments to support journalists to promote freedom of the press. He said, “Unfortunately we (journalists) are living and working in an environment that over the years became increasingly dangerous for us and our sisters and brothers covering the front lines.” Saras was speaking in Toronto this May, 2014 at an exhibition mounted by NEPMCC at the City Hall to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day. He used statistics from the International Press Institute (IPI) to recount the struggles and sufferings of journalists around the world. That, ‘during 2013 117 journalists lost their lives while covering events. This number makes 2013 the second deadliest year on the IPI Death Watch.’ According to the International Press Institute the most for a journalist are India, Pakistan and the Philippines. He drew attention to the report that even United Kingdom and USA had a negative response for the disclosures made by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Saras lamented that in many cases journalists are jailed without reasonable cause or due process, harassed or killed in many countries and in states that proclaim their commitment to press freedom, as the journalists try to report about matters in the public interest and to gain access to information. The keynote speaker during the function was the Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne. “There are many, many, many, stories in this country that have not been told,” Premier Wynne said. “You are the bridge between your adopted homeland and your countries of origin for so many people. Helping newcomers and new Canadians adjust to life here and give voice to their stories,” the keynote speaker pointed out. “Last year, 138 journalists died simply for carrying out their profession.” Premier Kathleen Wynne noted, as she reflected on the sacrifices and struggles smaller media outlets make around the world. The Ghanaian News, a versatile community newspaper based in Toronto which is also a full member of NEPMCC was among the exhibitors. Photo attached: Premier Wynne interacting with some of the exhibitors.