Publishers to journalists: Stay true to the truth

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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AS World Press Freedom Day was observed on Tuesday, the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) has urged journalists to stay true to the cause of bringing accurate information to the public.

In a media statement, the TTPBA reflected on the risks and sacrifices journalists encountered daily, especially this year during on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It said journalists often make sacrifices that take them away from family and friends, and the “normal life” generally taken for granted.

“Journalists around the world risk their lives daily to keep nations informed and, sadly, some have given their lives for this cause. Whilst the Ukraine crisis appears to have captured the world’s attention it is not unique to journalists.

“Every year journalists visit war-torn countries, putting their lives at risk to bring a voice to the tragedies they see. These countries and their stories don’t always get the same profile, but it is not for a lack of effort from the journalists that are at risk.”

It added that it was important to remember just what journalists brought to the public and how important that insight was, in a world where fake news was easily perpetuated.

“In an age of fake news or where everyone with a smart phone or computer thinks they are a journalist; we would do well to remember true journalism.

“In an age where state control of media and the narrative, and by extension its people, we would do well to remember the importance of press freedom,” the TTPBA said.

The distortion of press freedom in Russia, it said, where it was non-existent, was a reason why press freedom was important.

“A majority of a country believing they are in a legitimate struggle over Ukraine, as the state controls the narrative and silences, by any means necessary, the dissenting voices. This is why a free press is so important.

“To all journalists around the world that fight to inform us, we are ever grateful for your sacrifice.”