Today is a very special day for journalists around the world. Today is World Press Freedom Day.
For whatever it is worth, today is about appreciating the right to or ability to have freedom of expression.
Today is about appreciation as well for the work of journalists and acknowledgement of the people in the news and those who read, listen to, view, and surf the internet in search of information.
Journalists are sometimes misunderstood in this country.
Like anyone else, journalists have families. They have feelings, yearnings, and appreciation of many things.
They have loved ones who look up to them for advice, support and for reassurance.
Some have families of their own, children to support, nurture and watch over into adulthood. They have dreams of their own. Faced with many obstacles, passion for the job keeps many in this career.
Some have been ridiculed, snubbed, rubbished, sometimes publicly. But there have also been many instances when journalists have been acknowledged and appreciated. Importantly, we are all humans.
To some extent though, it can sometimes be thankless work. But there are many instances when there is personal satisfaction because a story contributed positively to the development of a family, community, village, town, city or the country.
For every journalist on the frontline, there are just as many in the background, from the editors of various departments, sub-editors, to the people behind the scenes working to get a radio or television program or web update ready for the masses.
They each contribute to the flow of information and in their own little yet important way, contribute to ensuring the people of this country are informed about issues we may have different opinions about. They may be relevant, perhaps important, funny, informative in terms of health, and business maybe. Some are keen sportspeople lapping up whatever they can about their favourite sport or sportsmen and women.
There are many sources of information scattered around the country. They help make the news.
The lifting of the Public Emergency Regulation is indicative of the important role the State would like to play in the dissemination of information to the masses. We acknowledge this and believe things can only get better. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a joint message for today, said, "Freedom of expression is one of our most precious rights. It underpins every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity.
"Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for its exercise. This is the message of World Press Freedom Day."