Qatar University (QU) marked World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness about the importance of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the value of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the creation, dissemination and reception of content to improve journalism, and to advance openness and empowerment by leaving no one behind.
On this occasion, several media specialists at QU expressed their opinion on the importance of the free press.
Dr Kamal Hamidou, acting department head, Mass Communication, commented, “Journalism and media play a vital role in people's lives and nations, as without them, the various other subsystems would be unable to function effectively. As a result of their progress in fulfilling their positions, nations ensure the free exchange of ideas, enriching the plurality of viewpoints and theories.”
“However, for journalism to be able to play such a role, the right atmosphere is required, one that makes the person aware of the role, believes in it, and defends it as a human rights development. Only by spreading a culture of freedom of speech can create this climate,” he added.
Kholeh Mortazawi, academic researcher- head of section, Media & Publications said, "There is a huge difference between the journalism profession in the pre-new media and the stage of new media. It has become a source of concern and necessitates the abandonment of one's career. On the other hand, it has become less tiring, but it has become more demanding.”
Prof Saddek Rabah, professor of Mass Communication said, “I believe we need journalism now more than ever before because it plays an important role in raising awareness, asking critical questions, posing conflicting theories, ascertaining facts, and putting them in a detailed context that helps people move safely in a world controlled by deception, forgery, psychological warfare, and propaganda.”