President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has called upon journalists to be more accountable in what they communicate and to represent the public in addressing the major issues in society. He made this appeal in a video message broadcast during the ‘Journalism Award Ceremony 2019’ hosted by the Maldives Media Council (MMC).
In his message, the President congratulated the winners of the ‘Journalism Award’ presented at the ceremony this evening. Emphasising that the Maldives supports a nonpartisan and competitive atmosphere for journalism, President Solih urged journalists to be more responsible in the messages they convey to the public, and to assist in nation-building efforts.
Speaking in this regard, he shed light on the role of journalists in a modern democracy. He stated that the responsibility of a journalist extends beyond delivering the most accurate information to the public and includes ensuring that the public is informed towards the brightest and most righteous paths. He highlighted the importance of expanding the role of journalists in addressing the most critical societal issues, namely substance abuse and religious extremism, in the country. He also urged journalists to play a pivotal role in the efforts to bounce back from the economic distress the country has experienced due to Covid-19.
The President also outlined the dire situation of press freedom in the Maldives from two years ago. He noted that the main duty of the Media Council and Maldives Broadcasting Commission back then had been to find faults and penalise journalists and media stations. He stated that his Administration had successfully eliminated that toxic culture from the Maldives journalism profession.
Addressing the new journalists, President Solih urged them to begin their careers with a positive mindset to make a difference in the nation through their craft.
Prior to concluding the video message, the President highlighted the forced disappearance of Journalist Ahmed Rilwan and the murder of Yameen Rasheed. He gave his assurance that the ongoing work by the government to seek justice will continue to prevail.