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The country also marked World Press Freedom Day with the Freedom of Information bill still in limbo.

Free, diverse and independent media are indispensable to promoting and protecting democracy worldwide. Even a pause in media killings is welcome news in one of the most unsafe countries for journalists. "According to the Stockholm Centre for Freedom around two hundred journalists were jailed and one hundred and fifty media outlets were shut down in the aftermath of last year's coup".

Last year Pakistan was ranked fourth most unsafe country in the world for journalists, with a total of 115 killings since 1990 in a report issued by International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

In Islamabad, a solidarity camp will be set up outside the Dawn office at about 4pm where office-bearers of the PFUJ and RIUJ will address journalists, other media workers and members of the civil society and political parties.

The report noted some of the starkest drops in press freedom occurred in Poland, Hungary, and Turkey - all members of Euro-Atlantic institutions like NATO and the European Union that tout a free press as a core principle.

May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day every year.

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Freedom House, a Washington-based non-profit, publishes an annual report on world rankings of press freedom and 2017 looks equally bleak to them.

The country's media community, led by MISA-Malawi, this year will commemorate the day this coming Saturday, in the objective of having as many media professionals and paraprofessionals as possible, participate in the event.

By now, we are all aware of the fact that freedom of expression is an obvious fundamental right in the modern world. Social media trolling is yet another example of what the journalists have to go through in this age of new media. The authors said "Most were not global journalists, few had the support of major news outlets, and most died after fighting insurmountable odds, daily threats and constant pressures".

The IFJ listed 93 cases of killings of journalists around the world past year and in 2017, 13 have lost their lives to violence so far.

Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice C K Prasad hailed journalists as crusaders of truth but lamented the absence of measures to safeguard them.


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