Addis Ababa, (ENA) – A symposium held in connection with the World Press Freedom Day here on Saturday acknowledged that the activities launched by the government to supply information with speed has been helping the growth of a culture of closerness between the government, the public and the mass media.
Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) State Minister Ermias Legesse on the occasion said the mass media and freedom of information law has put in place a system that addresses difficulties journalists used to face in accessing information.
The World Press Freedom Day, May 3, would be celebrated with the theme: “the potential of media in fostering dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.”
The study papers presented on the occasion by Professor Abiy Ford and Shimelis Kemal noted that activities of ensuring the press freedom and freedom of expression has come to draw more attention than ever.
In terms of information flow, activities were geared towards extricating public relation professionals from conventional practices and enabling them give information upon request.
This institutional and structural change has widened the chances of the mass media to obtain information, which they carry across to the public, the presenters said.
They said the mass media are key to instill the culture of dialogue to address issues, misunderstandings or controversies. A clear-cut system, they said, has come about whereby a regular briefing is made available on government’s topical agenda as well as government policies and strategies so as to prevent confusion.
The state minister on his part also said the government did all that is necessary for the protection of the rights of the press.
Every mass media outlet has the right of accessing public information, and this is facilitated through the recently instituted GCAO.
Participants of the occasion, including government representatives, media personnel, public relation officers and other stakeholders, dwelt at length on various issues of interest to the growth of the profession in a democratic milieu.