During the occasion, Representative of House of People’s Representative Speaker, Tagesse Chafo said the government has introduced reforms in media freedom and provided capacity building training for journalists to enable them provide accurate and timely information to the public and contribute their part in peace building.
He urged the media and journalists to actively engage in peace building and disseminate information that advance public interests.
Ethiopian Media Council General Assembly Chairperson, Tigest Yilma said World Press Freedom Day is marked to give due attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating information by tackling misinformation and other harmful contents.
It is also aimed at urging journalists to provide exact and relevant information to the public by respecting professional ethics of journalism, she added.
According to her, misinformation and fake news are the challenging phenomena in the media sector that need to be given due attention while reporting events and range of issues.
UNESCO Addis Ababa Office Director, Yumiko Yokozeki on her part reiterated the urgent attention that needs to be given to misinformation and hate speech.
She pointed out that the media and journalists should fight against these challenges by providing relevant and exact information to the public.
Yokozeki appreciated the ongoing reforms by the Government of Ethiopia in advancing access to information to media.
Underscoring the commitment of UNESCO towards working closely with stakeholders to ensure the safety of journalists, media freedom, transparency, respect of human rights and information literacy, she called on everyone to show commitment to ensuring the fundamental right of freedom of expression.
Ethiopian Media Authority Director-General, Mohammed Idris called on the media and journalists to provide accurate and balanced information, free from hate speech and emotion. Information should not be use to destabilize the integrity of the country, he stressed.
As part of its duty, the authority will follow up and control misinformation and hate speeches that hinder press freedom and destabilize the peace, stability and integrity of the country, the director-general pointed out.
Media representatives, officials and invited guests attended the ceremony.
World Press Freedom Day is marked globally on May 4 every year.